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Case for 

Will Durant 

Strand Book Stall, Mumbai 

This limited edition is published by 
Strand Book Stall, December 2007 

Strand Book Stall 
15-C, "Dhannur" 

Sir P. M. Road 

Mumbai 400 001 

Tel: 022 22661994/22661719/22614613 
Fax: 022 22630154 

Copyright © 2007, Strand Book Stall 

Printed at Mouj Printing Bureau, Khatau Wadi, Girgaum, 
Mumbai 400 004 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced 
or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or 
mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any 
information storage or retrieval system, without the prior 
written permission of the publisher. 


John Haynes Holmies 

Jabez T. Sunderland, 

The Bravest Friends of India in America. 



Introduction 9 

A Note to the Reader 10 


I. Personal 1 

II. A Perspective of India 3 

III. The Rape of a Continent 5 

IV. The Caste System in India 12 

V. Economic Destruction 22 

VI. Social Destruction 31 

VII. The Triumph of Death 35 


I. Portrait 40 

II. Preparation 44 

III. Revolution by Peace 48 

IV. Christ Meets John Bull 56 

V. The Religion of Gandhi 59 

VI. Gandhi's Social Philosophy 67 

VII. Criticism .....73 

VIII. An Estimate 80 





I. Origin , 84 

II. A Stroke of Politics 86 

III. A Whiff of Grapeshot 93 

IV. The Revolt of 1921 96 

V. Between Revolutions 100 

VI. The Simon Commission 102 

VII. 1930......... 105 



I. England Speaks 116 

1. The Nietzschean Defense 119 

2. British Contributions to India 125 

3. The Key to the White Man's Power 127 

II. India Answers 127 

1. Morals in India 127 

2. The Decay of Caste 132 

3. Greek Gifts... 135 



Notes 150 


Sometime in the earlyl960s I had the good fortune of 
meeting the greatest historian of civilization of all time. Will 
Durant. Over lunch, I learned from the author that he had 
written a book called "The Case for India". In spite of knowing 
of its contents, in brief, from the author himself, over the years 
I could not lay my hands on a single copy. 

I owe my immense gratitude to Mohandas Pai of Infosvs 
who recently gave a photocopy of "The Case for India" to my 
daughter Vidya Virkar, who in turn passed it on to me. Mohan's 
keen interest in India's heritage had led him to this remarkable 

Will Durant has made an in-depth study of Indian 
Civilization which he has gone on to declare as one of the most 
ancient and the greatest civilization that mankind has ever 
known. Such a cogent analysis could only have been made by a 
historian of Will Durant's stature. 

In publishing this limited edition of "The Case for India", 
we are hoping to put our nation and civilization in their proper 
frame of reference. Our endeavour goes far beyond the concept 
of business, it is intended to be a contribution towards the 
revelation and dissemination of historic truth, as Will Durant 
meant it to be. 

T N Shanbhag 
Strand Book Stall 




I went to India to help myself visualize a people whose cultural 
history I had been studying for The Story of Civilization. I did not 
expect to be attracted by the Hindus , or that I should be swept into a 
passionate interest in Indian politics. I merely hoped to add a little to 
my material, to look with my own eyes upon certain works of art , 
and then to return to my historical studies, forgetting this contem- 
porary world , 

But I saw such things in India as made me feel that study and 
writing were frivolous things in the presence of a people-one-fifth of 
the human race-suffering poverty and oppression bitterer than any 
to be found elsewhere on the earth. I was horrified. I had not thought 
it possible that any government could allow its subjects to sink to 
such misery. 

1 came away resolved to study living India as well as the India 
with the brilliant past; to learn more of this unique Revolution that 
fought with suffering accepted but never returned; to read the Gan- 
dhi of today as well as the Buddha of long ago. And the more 1 read 
the more I was filled with astonishment and indignation at the ap- 
parently conscious and deliberate bleeding of India by England 
throughout a hundred and fifty years. I began to feel that I had come 
upon the greatest crime in all history. 

And so I ask the reader's permission to abandon for a while my 
researches into the past, so that I may stand up and say my word for 
India. I know how weak words mv <« me face oi guns and mood, how 



irrelevant mere truth and decency appear beside the might of expires 
and gold. But if even one Hindi, fighting for freedom far off there on 
the other side of the globe, shall hear this call of mine and be a trifle 
comforted, then these months of work on this little book will seem 
sweet to me. For I know of nothing in the world that I would rather 
do today than to be of help to India. 

October 1, 1930. 

Will Durant 

Note ; This book has been written without the knowledge or 
co-operation, in any form, of any Hindu, or of any person acting 
for India. 



I. Personal 

I wish to speak, in this chapter, with unaccustomed 
partiality and passion. I am poorly qualified to write of India: 
I have merely crossed it twice between east and west, and once 
from north to south, and seen hardly a dozen of its cities. And 
though I have prepared myself with the careful study of a 
hundred volumes, this has all the more convinced me that my 
knowledge is trifling and fragmentary in the face of a 
civilization five thousand years old, endlessly rich in 
philosophy, literature, religion and art, and infinitely 
appealing in its ruined grandeur and its weaponless struggle 
for liberty. If I write at all it is not only because I feel deeply 
about India, but because life cannot wait till knowledge is 
complete. One must speak out, and take sides before the fight 
is over. 

I have seen a great people starving to death before my 
eyes, and I am convinced that this exhaustion and starvation 
are due not, as their beneficiaries claim, to over-population 
and superstition, but to the most sordid and criminal 
exploitation of one nation by another in all recorded history. 
I propose to show that England has year by year been bleeding 
India to the point of death, and that self-government of India 
by the Hindus could not, within any reasonable probability, 
have worse results than the present form of alien domination. 
I shall limit myself in this chapter to presenting the case for 




India, knowing that the case against her has been stated ail 
too well in what may be long remembered as the unfairest 
book ever written. Nevertheless, lest I should merely repeat 
and reverse that crime, I shall in a later chapter outline the case 
for England in India as strongly as I can. 

In the London Daily Herald of October 17, 1927, Ramsay 
MacDonald, now Prime Minister of England, declared that 
further so-called "tutelage" of India for self-rule was useless; 
she should have self-government at once. He affirmed that 
India was already fit for self-government, and that the only 
training she required was that of her own experience in liberty. 
Shortly before its recent coming to power, the Labor Party of 
Great Britain officially declared : "We believe that the time has 
come when our brothers in all parts of India are capable (not 
will be some time but are now) of controlling their own affairs 
equally along with South Africa and other British Dominions; 
and we hereby pledge ourselves to assist in every way possible 
to bring about this much desired reform. 

I have the honor to agree with the British Government; I 
argue only for Elome Rule. I speak not as an American only, 
but as a member of the family of the English-speaking peoples; 
I rest my case above all on the evidence of Englishmen, I write, 
I think, in harmony with the fine traditions of Englis a 
liberalism from Burke and Sheridan and Fox to Bertrand 
Russell, Ramsay MacDonald, and Bernard Shaw. I like and 
honor Englishmen, but I am not fond of the British; the English 
are the best gentlemen on earth, the British are the worst of 
all imperialists. The English gave the world liberty, and the 
British are destroying it. I confess that I am prejudiced m 
favour of liberty. 

* Reference notes will be found beginning on page 150 



II. A Perspective of India 

Let us remember, first, that India is not a little island, nor 
a continent sparsely inhabited by savages, but a vast territory 
containing 3,20,000,- 000 souls— three times as many as in the 
United States, more than in North and South America 
combined, more than in all Europe, west of Russia, combined; 
all in all, one-fifth of the world's population. Let us remember, 
further, that in the northern and more important half of India 
the people are predominantly of the same race as the Greeks, 
the Romans, and ourselves — i.e., "Indo-Europeans" or 
"Aryans" ; that though their skin has been browned by the 
tireless sun, their features resemble ours, and are in general 
more regular and refined than those of the average European 
; that India was the mother-land of our race, and Sanskrit the 
mother of Europe's languages; that she was the mother of our 
philosophy, mother, through Arabs, of much of our 
mathematics, mother, through Buddha, of the ideals embodied 
in Christianity, mother, through the village community, of self- 
government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways 
the mother of us all.’ 1 ’ 

Let us remember, also, in order that we may see the 
problem in perspective, the age and variety of India's 
civilization. Recent excavations at Mohenjo Daru have 
revealed a civilization 3500 B.C. with great cities and 
industries, comfortable homes, and luxuries ranging from 
bathrooms to statuary and jewelry; "all betokening a social 
condition .... superior to that prevailing in contemporary 
Babylonia and Egypt." 3 When Alexander the Great invaded 

* The first volume of the author's t>tory of Civilization will 
substantiate this in detail. 





India in 326 B.C., his historian, Megasthenes, recorded his 
amazement at finding on the Indus a people quite as civilized 
and artistic as the Greeks, who were then at the height of their 
curve. 4 

At no time in history has India been without civilization : 
from the days of Buddha, in the fifth century, who is to the 
East what Christ is to the West ; through the time when Asoka, 
the most humane of emperors, preached the gentle creed of 
Buddha from pillars and monuments everywhere ; down to 
the sixteenth century, when culture, wealth and art flourished 
at Vijayanagar in the south, and a still higher culture, and still 
greater wealth and art, flourished under Akbar in the north. 
It was to reach this India of fabulous riches that Columbus 
sailed the seas. The civilization that was destroyed by British 
guns had lasted for fifteen centuries, producing saints from 
Buddha to Ramakrishna and Gandhi ; philosophy from the 
Vedas to Schopenhauer and Bergson, Thopea and Keyserling, 
who take their lead and acknowledge their derivation from 
India (India, say Keyserling, "has produced the profoundest 
metaphysics that we know of."; and he speaks of "the absolute 
superiority of India over the West I philosophy" 5 ); poetry from 
the Mahabharata containing the Bhagavad-Gita, "perhaps the 
most beautiful work of the literature of the world," down to 
Sarojini Naidu, greatest of living women poets, and 
Rabindranath Tagore, who, writing local dialect in a subject 
land, has made himself the most famous poet of our time. And 
how shall we rank a civilization that created the unique and 
gigantic temples of Ellora, Madura and Angkor and the perfect 
artistry of Delhi, Agra and the Taj Mahal — that indescribable 
lyric in stone? 

This, evidently, was not a minor civilization produced by 

an inferior people. It ranks with the highest civilizations of 
history, and some, like Keyserling, would place it at the head 
and summit of all. When, in 1803, the invading British 
besieged the Fort at Agra, and their cannon struck near the 
beautiful Khass Mahal, or Hall of Private Audience, the 
Hindus surrendered at once lest one of the most perfect 
creations of the human hand should be ruined like Rheims. 
Who then were the civilized? The British conquest of India was 
the invasion and destruction of a high civilization by a trading 
company utterly without scruple or principle, careless of art 
and greedy of gain, over-running with fire and sword a 
country temporarily disordered and helpless, bribing and 
murdering, annexing and stealing, and beginning that career 
of illegal and "legal" plunder which has now gone on 
ruthlessly for one hundred and seventy-three years, and goes 
on at this moment while in our secure comfort we write and 

Ill . The Rape of a Continent 

When the British came, India was politically weak, and 
economically prosperous. The Mogul dynasty, which had so 
stimulated art, science and literature in India, came to the 
usual fate of monarchies in 1658, when Shah Jehan, builder 
of the Taj Mahal, was succeeded by his fanatical son, 
Aurangzeb. For almost fifty years this Puritanic emperor 
misgoverned India; when he died his realm fell to pieces, and 
petty princes set up their rule in numberless divided and 
"sovereign" states. It was a simple matter for a group of 
English buccaneers, armed with the latest European artillery 
and morals, to defeat the bows and arrows, the elephants and 





primitive musketry of the rajahs, and bring one Hindu 
province after another under the control of the British East 
India Company. 

Those who have seen the unspeakable poverty and 
physiological weakness of the Hindus to-day will hardly 
believe that it was the wealth of eighteenth century India 
which attracted the commercial pirates of England and France. 
'This wealth/' says Sunderland, 

was created by the Hindus' vast and varied 
industries. Nearly every kind of manufacture or 
product known to the civilized world-nearly every 
kind of creation of Man's brain and hand, existing 
anywhere, and prized either for its utility or beauty- 
had long, long been produced in India. India was a far 
greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any 
in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods- 
the fine products of her looms, in cotton, wool, linen 
and silk-were famous over the civilized world; so 
were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones cut 
in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelains, 
ceramics of every kind, quality, color and beautiful 
shape; so were her fine works in metal-iron, steel, 
silver and gold. She had great architecture-equal hi 
beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering 
works. She had great merchants, great businessmen, 
great bankers and financiers. Not only was she the 
greatest ship-building nation, but she had great 
commerce and trade by land and sea which extended 
to all known civilized countries. Such was the India 
which the British found when they came. 7 

It was this wealth that the East India Company proposed 

to appropriate. Already in 1686 its Directors declared their 
intention to "establish ....a large, well-grounded, sure English 
dominion in India for all time to come." 8 The company rented 
from the Hindu authorities trading posts at Madras, Calcutta 
and Bombay, and fortified them, without permission of the 
authorities, with troops and cannon. In 1756 the Rajah of 
Bengal, resenting this invasion, attacked the English Fort 
William, captured it, and crowded one hundred and forty-six 
English prisoners into the "Black Hole" of Calcutta, from 
which only twenty-three emerged alive the next morning. A 
year later Robert Clive defeated the Bengal forces at Flassey 
with the loss of only twenty-two British killed, and thereupon 
declared his Company the owner of the richest province in 
India. He added further territory by forging and violating 
treaties, by playing one native prince against another, and by 
generous bribes given and received. Four million dollars were 
sent down the river to Calcutta in one shipment. Fie accepted 
"presents" amounting to $1,170,000 from Hindu rulers 
dependent upon his favour and his guns; pocketed from them, 
in addition, an annua] tribute of $140,000; took to opium, was 
investigated and exonerated by Parliament, and killed himself. 
"When I think," he said, "of the marvelous riches of that country, 
and the comparatively small part which I took away, I am 
astonished at my own moderation." 9 Such were the morals of 
the men who proposed to bring civilization to India. 

His successors in the management of the Company now 
began a century of unmitigated rape on the resources of India. 
They profiteered without hindrance: goods which they sold 
in England for $10,000,000 they bought for $2,000,000 in 
India. 10 They engaged, corporately and individually, in inland 
trade, and by refusing to pay the tolls exacted of Flindu 





traders, acquired a lucrative monopoly. 11 The Company paid 
such fabulous dividends that its stock rose to $32,000 a share. 12 
Its agents deposed and set up Hindu rulers according to bribes 
refused or received ; in ten years they took in, through such 
presents, $30,000,000. 13 They forged documents as 
circumstances required, and hanged Hindus for forging 
documents. 14 Clive had set up Mir Jafar as ruler of Bengal for 
$6,192,875 ; Clive's successors deposed him and set up Mir 
Kasim on payment of $1,001,345 ; three years later they 
restored Mir Jafar for $2,500,825 ; two years later they replaced 
him with Najim-ud-Daula for $1,151, 780. 15 They taxed the 
provinces under the Company so exorbitantly that two-thirds 
of the population fled; 16 defaulters were confined in cages, and 
exposed to the burning sun; fathers sold their children to meet 
the rising rates. It was usual to demand 50% of the net produce 
of the land. "Every effort, lawful and unlawful," says a 
Bombay Administration report, written by Englishmen, "was 
made to get the utmost out of the wretched peasantry, who 
were subjected to torture, in some instances cruel and 
revolting beyond all description, if they would not or could 
not yield what was demanded." 17 Warren Hastings exacted 
contributions as high as a quarter of a million dollars from 
native princes to the treasury of the Company; he accepted 
bribes to exact no more, exacted more, and annexed the states 
that could not pay; 18 he allowed his agents to use torture in 
extorting contributions; 19 he helped the Nawab of Oudh to rob 
his mother and grandmother in order to pay the Company 
$5,000,000; 2 ° he occupied the province of Oudh with his army, 
captured it, and then sold it to a prince for $2,500,000; he "lent" 
a British army to a Hindu rajah for $2,000,000, and made no 
complaint when it was used to slaughter and be slaughtered 

for savage purpose. 21 "Everybody and everything," says the 
Oxford History of India, "was on sale." 22 And Macaulay writes: 

During the five years which followed the departure of 
Clive from Bengal, the misgovernment of the English was 
carried to such a point as seemed incompatible with the 
existence of society ....The servants of the Company. ...forced 

the natives to buy dear and to sell cheap Enormous fortunes 

were thus rapidly accumulated at Calcutta, while thirty 
millions of human beings were reduced to the extremity of 
wretchedness. They had been accustomed to live under 
tyranny, but never under tyranny like this.... Under their old 
masters they had at least one resource: when the evil became 
insupportable, the people rose and pulled down the 
government. But the English Government was not to be so 
shaken off. That Government, oppressive as the most 
oppressive form of barbarian despotism, was strong with all 
the strength of civilization. 23 

By 1858 the crimes of the Company so smelled to heaven 
that the British Government took over the captured and 
plundered territories as a colony of the Crown; a little island 
took over half a continent. England paid the Company 
handsomely, and added the purchase price to the public debt 
of India, to be redeemed, principal and interest (originally at 
10 Vi%), out of the taxes put upon the Hindu people. 24 All the 
debts on the Company's books, together with the accrued 
interest on these debts, were added to the public obligations 
of India, to be redeemed out of the taxes put upon the Hindu 
people. Exploitation was dressed now in all the forms of Law- 
i.e. the rules laid down by the victors for the vanquished. 
Hypocrisy was added to brutality, while the robbery went on. 

The British conquest brought certain advantages to India. 





In 1829, Lord William Bentinck decreed the abolition of suttee- 
the immolation of widows with their dead husbands-and 
acknowledged handsomely the aid given him by native reform 
organizations. The Portuguese had abolished the custom in 
their Indian possessions three hundred and nine years 
before. 25 Men like Bentinck, Munro, Elphinstone and 
Macaulay carried into the administration of India something 
of the generous liberalism which for a time controlled England 
in 1832. The English put an end to the Thugs-an organized 
caste of robber s-and completed the abolition of slavery. They 
built railways for commercial and military purposes, 
introduced factories, and promoted the growth of the 
population. They established a small number of schools, 
brought the science and technology of the West to India, gave 
to the East the democratic ideals of modern Europe, and 
played an important part, through their scholars, in revealing 
to the world the cultural wealth of India's past. 

The price of these benefactions was considerable. It 
included, to begin with, the expropriation of state after state 
from the native rulers by war or bribery, or the simple decree 
of Lord Dalhousie that whenever a Hindu prince died without 
leaving a direct heir, his territory should pass to the British ; 
in Dalhousie 's administration alone eight states were absorbed 
in this peaceful way. Province after province was taken over 
by offering its ruler a choice between a pension and war. 26 In 
the seventh decade of the nineteenth century England added 
4000 square miles to her Indian territory; in the eighth decade, 
15,000 square miles; in the ninth, 90,000; in the tenth, 133,- 
000. 27 John Morley estimated that during the nineteenth 
century alone England carried on one hundred and eleven 
wars in India, using for the most part Indian troops; 28 millions 

of Hindus shed their blood that India might be slave. The cost 
of these wars for the conquest of India was met to the last 
penny out of Indian taxes; the English congratulated 
themselves on conquering India without spending a cent. 29 
Certainly it was a remarkable, if not a magnanimous, 
achievement, to steal in forty years a quarter of a million 
square miles, and make the victims pay every penny of the 
expense. 30 When at last in 1857 the exhausted Hindus resisted, 
they were suppressed with "medieval ferocity" ; 31 a favourite 
way of dealing with captured rebels was to blow them to bits 
from the mouths of cannon. 32 "We took," said the London 
Spectator , "at least 100,000 Indian lives in the mutiny." 33 This 
is what the English call the Sepoy Mutiny, and what the 
Hindus call the War of Independence. There is much in a 

Let Englishmen describe the result. A report to the House 
of Commons by one of its investigating committees in 1804 
stated: "It must give pain to an Englishman to think that since 
the accession of the Company the condition of the people of 
India has been worse than before." 34 In 1826 the English 
Bishop Heber wrote: "The peasantry in the Company's 
provinces are, on the whole, worse off, poorer, and more 
dispirited, than the subjects of the Native Princes. . .1 met with 
very few men who will not, in confidence, own their belief that 
the people are overtaxed, and that the country is in a gradual 
state of impoverishment." 35 James Mill, historian of India, 
wrote: "Under their dependence upon the British Government 
.... the people of Oudh and Kama tic, two of the noblest 
provinces of India, were, by misgovernment plunged into a 
state of wretchedness with which . . . hardly any part of the 
earth has anything to compare." 36 "I conscientiously believe/” 





said Lt.Col. Briggs in 1830, "that under no Government 
whatever, Hindu or Mohammedan, professing to be actuated 
by law, was any system so suppressive of the prosperity of 
the people at large as that which has marked our 
administration." 37 F. J. Shore, British administrator in Bengal, 
testified as follows to the House of Commons in 1857: 

The fundamental principle of the English has been to 
make the whole Indian nation subservient, in every possible 
way, to the interests and benefits of themselves. They have 
been taxed to the utmost limit; every successive province, as 
it has fallen into our possession, has been made a field for 
higher exaction; and it has always been our boast how greatly 
we have raised the revenue above that which the native rulers 
were able to extort. The Indians have been excluded from 
every honor, dignity or office which the lowest Englishman 
could be prevailed upon to accept. 38 

Such was the method of the British acquisition of India; 
this is the origin of the British claim to rule India today. And 
now, leaving the past, we shall examine the present, and show, 
point after point, how English rule is at this very moment, with 
all its modest improvements, destroying Hindu civilization, 
and the Hindu people. 

IV. The Caste System in India 

The present caste system in India consists of four classes: 
the real Brahmans-i.e., the British bureaucracy; the real 
Kshatriyas-i.e., the British army; the real Vaisyas-i.e., the 
British traders; and the real Sudras and Untouchables-i.e., the 
Hindu people. Consider first the bureaucracy. 

Here even the irate lover of liberty will concede some 

measure of decency and progress since the Montagu- 
Chelmsford Reforms of 1919. One-fourth of India's population 
still remains under native princes, who are free, with their 
councils, to govern their states in any manner satisfactory to 
the British Resident appointed to safeguard the interests of the 
Empire. Some of these native states, Mysore and Baroda in 
particular, have admirable constitutions, and are advancing 
more rapidly in education and freedom than the British 
provinces of India. Each of the latter has a legislature; 70 /o of 
the members are elected by a property-limited franchise, 25 
to 30% are officials or nominees of the British Government. 
Above each legislature is a double ministry, or "dyarchy": an 
Executive Council appointed by and responsible only to the 
British authorities, administering law and order and the 
taxation of the land; and a Ministerial Council chosen by the 
Provincial Governor from the leaders of the legislature, 
responsible to the legislature, and managing transferred and 
harmless subjects like education, excise, health, etc. At the 
head of each province is a governor appointed by the British 
Crown, responsible not to the legislature but to the Viceroy 
and the British Parliament, empowered to nullify any law 
passed by the legislature, or to pass any law or tax refused 
by the legislature, whenever it may seem to him desirable. 39 

The central legislature, meeting at Delhi, has a lower 
house or Assembly of one hundred and forty-four members, 
thirty-one of them appointed by the Government, one hundred 
and four elected by a franchise so restricted by property 
qualifications that only one person out of two hundred and 
fifty is allowed to vote. The upper house, or Council of State, 
has sixty members, twenty-seven appointed by the 
Government, thirty-three elected by a still more restricted 





franchise. The voters vote not as citizens of India, but as 
members of a given social or religious group; the Hindus are 
permitted to elect a specified number of Hindus, the Moslems 
a number of Moslems, the Europeans a number of Europeans. 
The allotment of representatives is out of all proportions to 
population. This, if we may believe the British, was required 
to meet the fears of the Moslem minority, who number some 
22% of the population; in effect, however, it intensifies and 
encourages the racial and religious divisions which 
statesmanship would seek to heal. 

Above this central legislature, and acknowledging no 
responsibility to it, 40 stand the Viceroy and his Executive 
Council, appointed by the Crown. The Viceroy has, and has 
repeatedly used, the power to veto, even over a unanimous 
vote of the legislature, any bill which he considers detrimental 
to British interests; he has, and has often used, the power to 
enact laws rejected by the legislature, and to collect taxes or 
make expenditures refused by it. 41 The Simon Report 
recommends the continuance of these powers. On many 
subjects the legislature is not permitted to vote; on some it is 
not permitted to speak. 42 "Expenditures on defense, and in the 
political and ecclesiastical departments, . . . and certain salaries 
and pensions, need not be voted." 43 Subject to the British 
Parliament the Viceroy is omnipotent. 

He is not omniscient. He is a political appointee, chosen 
for his executive ability as manager of a concern demanding 
high dividends out of poor rolling stock. He is seldom selected 
for his knowledge of India; sympathy with it would disqualify 
him, as it disqualified Lord Ripon. After five years of service 
the Viceroy acquires some knowledge of the people and the 
country, and is replaced. 

With a government responsible to England, not to India, 
it is natural that the power of taxation should be freely used. 
Though before the coming of the English the land was private 
property, the Government made itself the sole owner of the 
soil and charged for it a land tax or rental now equal to one- 
fifth of the produce. 44 In many cases in the past this land tax 
has amounted to half the gross produce, in some cases to more 
than the entire gross produce; in general it is two to three times 
as high as under pre-English rule. 45 The Government has the 
exclusive right to manufacture salt, and adds to its sale-price 
a tax amounting to one-half a cent per pound. When we 
remember that the average annual income in India is only $33, 
and recall the judgment of a missionary paper. The Indian 
Witness , that "it is safe to assume that 100,000,000 of the 
population of India have an annual income of not more than 
$5.00 a head," 46 we begin to understand how much they share 
in responsibility for the ill-health and emaciation of the 

A member of parliament, Catheart Wilson, says: "The 
percentage of taxes in India, as related to the gross produce, 
is more than that of any other country." 47 Until recently the 
rate was twice as high as in England, three times as high as 
in Scotland. Herbert Spencer protested against "the pitiless 
taxation which wrings from the poor Indian ryots nearly half 
the product of their soil." 48 Another Englishman, the late H. 
M. Hyndman, after detailing the proof that taxation in India 
was for heavier than in any other country, though its 
population is poorer, entitled his book The Bankruptcy of India. 
Sir William Hunter, former member of the Viceroy's Council, 
said in 1875: "The Government assessment does not leave 
enough food to the cultivator to support himself and his family 





throughout the year/' 49 Mr. Thorburn, one-time Financial 
Commissioner of the Punjab, said that "the whole revenue of 
the Punjab .... is practically drawn from the producing 
masses." 50 Since the enactment of the income tax this is no 
longer true. 

I asked the guide at Trichinopoly how the people of India 
had found, three or four hundred years ago, the money to 
build the vast temples there and at Madura and Tanjore. He 
answered that rajahs had been able to build these edified 
despite the fact that they had taxed the people much less 
severely than the English were doing. Against this terrible 
blood-letting the Hindus have no redress; their legislatures are 
impotent. And in the midst of the heart-breaking poverty 
engendered partly by this taxation, the Government treats 
itself, at staggering cost, to gigantic official buildings at Delhi, 
needlessly alien in style to the architecture of India ; for seven 
months of every year it transfers the Capital, with all its 
machinery and personnel, to vacation resorts in the mountains, 
at an expense of millions of dollars; and from time to time it 
holds gorgeous Durbars, to impress the people who provide 
tens of millions for the ceremony. 51 It pays to be free. 

The result is that the national debt of India, which was 
$35,000,000 in 1792, rose to $105,000,000 in 1805 ; to 
$150,000,000 in 1829 ; to $215,000,000 in 1845 ; to $275,000,000 
in 1850 ; to $350,000,000 in 1858 ; to $500,000,000 in 1860 ; to 
$1,000,000,000 in 1901 ; to $1,535,000,000 in 1913, and to 
$3,500,000,000 in 1929. 52 Let these figures tell the tale. 

The second caste in India is the British army. The Indian 
forces number some 204,000 men; 53 60,000 of them are 
British, 54 including all officers; 1,874 are aviators 55 — the last 
resort of despotism. There are only a few Hindu officers, and 

no Hindu is allowed in the air force or the artillery, but 70% 
of the common soldiery is natives. The Hindus are reputed by 
the British to be incapable of self-defense, but no British 
Government has been willing to believe this to the extent of 
allowing Hindus to learn the art of incorporated murder. The 
expense of maintaining this army, whose function is the 
continual subjection of India by bullets, shells and air-bombs, 
is borne by the Indian people. In 1926 its cost was 
$200,735,660 — a tax of 3% on the scanty earnings of every man, 
woman and child in the land. 

Wherever the Indian army sheds its (mostly native) 
blood, in Afghanistan or Burma or Mesopotamia or France (for 
the government is free to send it anywhere), the expense is met 
not by the Empire which it enlarges of defends, but by Indian 
revenues alone. When England had to send British troops to 
India in 1857 it charged India with the cost not only of 
transporting them, maintaining them in India, and bringing 
them back home, but with their maintenance in Great Britain 
for six months before they sailed. 56 During the nineteenth 
century India paid $450,000,000 for wars fought for England 
outside of India with Indian troops. She contributed $500,000,000 
to the War chest of the Allies, $700,000,000 in subscriptions 
to War loans, 800,000 soldiers, and 400,000 laborers to defend 
the British Empire outside of India during the Great War, 57 In 
1922 64% of the total revenue of India was devoted to this 
army of fratricides : Hindus compelled to kill Hindus in Burma 
until Burma consented to come under British rule ; Hindus 
compelled to defend on the fields of Flanders the Empire 
which in every year, as will appear later, was starving ten 
million Hindus to death. No other army in the world 
consumes so large a proportion of the public revenues. In 1926 


the Viceroy announced the intention of the Government to 
build a "Royal Indian Navy"; the proposal added that this 
navy should be used wherever in the Empire the British 
Parliament might care to send it, and that the entire cost of 
the navy should be met from the revenues of India. 58 It pays 
to be free. 

Under these British castes toil the real Pariahs or 
Untouchables of India-the Hindu people. In 1833 the British 
Parliament decreed that "no native of our Indian Empire shall, 
by reason of his color, his descent, or his religion, be incapable 
of holding office." 59 In 1858 Queen Victoria, in an official 
proclamation, announced it as her "will that, so far as may be, 
our subjects, of whatever race or creed, be freely and 
impartially admitted to offices in our service, the duties of 
which they may be qualified, by their education, ability, and 
integrity, duly to discharge." 60 

Nevertheless the actual policy of the British in India has 
been one of political exclusion and social scorn. Every year the 
Indian colleges graduate 12,000 students; every year hundreds 
of Hindus graduate from universities in Europe or America, 
and return to their native land. But only the lowest places in 
the civil service are open to them. Not more than four per cent 
of positions bringing over $4,000 per year are held by 
Hindus; 61 these berths are reserved for the British. Some of the 
invaders are capable executives, well worth their high salaries; 
but most of them are poorly rated by their countrymen. Lord 
Asquith declared in 1909 that if high places were given to 
Hindus half as unfit as the Englishmen who then occupied 
them in India it would be regarded as a public scandal. 62 Sir 
Louis Mallet, formerly Under-Secretary of State for India, and 
Ramsay MacDonald, who studied India at first hand. 


expressed similar opinions. 63 Dr.V.A.Rutherford, M.P. , says : 
"For every post held in India by Englishmen, it would be quite 
safe to say that there are five or ten Indians well qualified to 
discharge its duties, and at less than half the cost. 
Englishmen must be doubly paid to bear the heat of India. 

Liberals like Elphinstone and Munro, Bentinck and 
Macaulay, Wingate and Ripon protested in vain against this 
refusal of function to the educated intelligence of India, this 
"decapitation of an entire people," as Lajpat Rai called it. It 
is the commonest thing," says an American missionary, "to see 
Indian scholars and officials, of confessedly high ability, of 
very fine training, and of long experience, serving under 
young Englishmen who in England would not be thought fit 
to fill a government or a business position above the second 
or even third class." 66 "Eminent Hindu physicians and 
surgeons," says Ramanandra Chatterjee, "are compelled to 
spend the best years of their lives in subordinate positions as 
'assistant' surgeons, while raw and callow youths lord it over 
them and draw four to five times their pay." 67 Sir Thomas 
Munro, British Governor of Madras, said, almost a century 
ago: "Under the sway of every Mohammedan conqueror, the 
natives of India have been admitted to all the highest dignities 
of the State; it is only under the British Government that they 
have been excluded from this advantage, and held in a 
condition, even when employed in a public department, little 
superior to that of menial servants." 68 "Since I am writing 
confidentially," said Lord Lytton, Viceroy of India, in 1878, "I 
do not hesitate to say that both the Government of England 
and of India appear to me, up to the present moment, unable 
to answer satisfactorily the charge of having taken every 
means in their power of breaking to the heart the words of 





promise they have uttered the ear/' 69 

The final element in the real caste system of India is the 
social treatment of the Hindus by the British. The latter may be 
genial Englishmen when they arrive, gentlemen famous as 
lovers of fair play; but they are soon turned, by the example of 
their leaders and the poison of irresponsible power, into the 
most arrogant and over-bearing bureaucracy on earth. 
"Nothing can be more striking," said a report to Parliament, in 
1830, "than the scorn with which the people have been 
practically treated at the hands of even those who were actuated 
by the most benevolent motives," 70 The English in India act as 
if they felt (as doubtless they do) that their superior position 
can be best maintained by asserting it at every step, by avoiding 
participation in the life of the people, by setting up against them 
every aristocratic social distinction, by treating them in every 
way as an inferior race. Kohn describes this arrogance as 
"known to no other colonizing nation." 71 Sunderland reports 
that the British treat the Hindus as strangers and foreigners in 
India, in a manner "quite as unsympathetic, harsh and abusive 
as was ever seen among the Georgia and Louisiana planters in 
the old days of American slavery"; and he tells of several cases 
in which British soldiers forcibly ejected from railway 
compartments educated Brahmins and courtly rajahs who had 
tickets for this space. 72 Savel Zimand corroborates him : "Many 
of the distinctions drawn against Indians are like those made 
against the negroes in our south - minus lynching. I could fill 
a volume with such instances." 73 Sir Henry Cotton, long a high 
British official in India, declares that the government there is 
as complete a bureaucracy as Russia's under the Czar ; that it 
is as autocratic in its methods, as reactionary in its spirit, as 
determined as ever the Russian aristocracy was to keep all 

power and advantage in its hands. 74 I must add that I did not 
myself observe any important instances of this snobbishness, 
except in the forgivable exclusion of the Hindus from English 
clubs. My critics will remind me of the narrowness and brevity 
of my experience. 

The result is a pitiful crushing of the Hindu spirit, a 
stifling of its pride and growth, a stunting of genius that once 
flourished in every city of the land. Have we felt that the 
Hindu character is degraded, that it lacks virility and 
initiative? But what people could have retained these qualities 
under such ruthless alien rule? "Subjection to a foreign yoke," 
says Professor Ross, "is one of the most potent causes of the 
decay of nations." 75 Said Charles Francis Adams before the 
American Historical Association in 1901: "There is not an 
instance in all recorded history... where a so-called inferior 
race or community has been elevated in its character, or made 
self-sustaining, or self-governing, or even put on the way to 
that result through a condition of dependency or tutelage. I 
might, without much danger, assert that the condition of 
dependency, even for communities of the same race and 
blood, always exercises an emasculating and deteriorating 
influence. I would undertake, if called upon, to show that this 
rule is invariable." 76 "The foreign system under which India 
is governed to-day," says Gandhi, "has reduced India to 
pauperism and emasculation. We have lost self-confidence." 77 

The British charge the Hindu with lack of manliness; but 
it is the British who have driven it out of him by the accident 
of superior guns and the policy of merciless rule. If there is 
rebellion in India to-day let every true Briton be glad; for it 
means that India is not quite dead, that the spirit of liberty is 
raised again, and that the Hindu can be a man after all. 





V. Economic Destruction 

The economic condition of India is the inevitable 
corollary of its political exploitation. 

Even the casual traveller perceives the decay of 
agriculture (which absorbs 85% of the people), and the 
destitution of the peasant. He sees the Hindu riot in the rice- 
fields, wading almost naked in the mud of a foreign tyrant's 
land; his loin-cloth is all the finery that he has. In 1915 the 
Statistical Department of Bengal, the most prosperous of 
India's provinces, calculated the average wage of the able- 
bodied agricultural laborer to be $3.60 per month. 78 His hut 
is of branches often open at the sides, and loosely roofed with 
straw; or it is a square of dried mud adorned with a cot of 
dried mud, and covered with mud and sticks and leaves. The 
entire house and furnishings of a family of six, including all 
their clothing, are worth $10. 79 The peasant cannot afford 
newspapers or books, entertainment, tobacco, or drink. Almost 
half his earnings go to the Government; and if he cannot pay 
the tax, his holding, which may have been in his family for 
centuries, is confiscated by the State. 

If he is fortunate he escapes from the overtaxed land and 
takes refuge in the cities. Provided there are not too many 
other applicants, he may get work in Delhi, the capital of India, 
carrying away the white master's excrement; sanitary facilities 
are unnecessary when slaves are cheap. Or he can go to the 
factory, and become, if he is very lucky, one of the 1,409,000 
"hands" of India. He will find difficulty in getting a place, for 
33% of the factory workers are women, and 8% are children. 80 
In the mines 34% of the employees are women, of whom one- 
half work underground; 16% of the miners are children. In the 

cotton mills of Bombay the heat is exhausting, and the lungs 
are soon destroyed by the fluff-laden air; men work there until 
they reach a subsistence wage, and then their health breaks 
down. More than half the factories use their employees fifty- 
four hours a week. The average wage of the factory workers 
is sixty to seventy cents a day; though allowance must be 
made for the inferior skill and strength of the Hindu as 
compared with the European or American labourer long 
trained in the ways of machines. In Bombay, in 1922, despite 
the factory acts of that year, the average wage of the cotton 
workers was 33 cents. In that same year the profit of the 
owners of those mills was 125%. This was an "off-year"; in 
better years, the owners said, the profits were 200%. The 
workman's home is like his wage ; usually it consists of one 
room, shared by the family with various animals ; Zimand 
found one room with thirty tenants. 81 Such is the industrial 
revolution that a British government has allowed to develop 
under its control, despite the example of enlightened 
legislation in America and England. 

The people flock to the factories because the land cannot 
support them ; and the land cannot support them because it 
is overtaxed, because it is overpopulated, and because the 
domestic industries with which the peasants formerly eked out 
in winter their gleanings from the summer fields, have been 
destroyed by British control of Indian tariffs and trade. For of 
old the handicrafts of India were known throughout the 
world; it was manufactured — i.e., hand-made — goods which 
European merchants brought from India to sell to the West. 
In 1680, says the British historian Orme, the manufacture of 
cotton was almost universal in India, 82 and the busy spinning- 
wheels enabled the women to round out the earnings of their 





men. But the English in India objected to this competition of 
domestic industry with their mills at home; they resolved that 
India should be reduced to a purely agricultural country, and 
be forced in consequence to become a vast market for British 
machine-made goods. The Directors of the East India 
Company gave orders that the production of raw silk should 
be encouraged and the manufacture of silk fabrics 
discouraged; that silk-winders should be compelled to work 
in the Company's factories, and be prohibited, under severe 
penalties, from working outside. 83 Parliament discussed ways 
and means of replacing Hindu by British industries. A tariff 
of 70-80% was placed upon Hindu textiles imported into free- 
trade England, while India was compelled, by foreign control 
of her government, to admit English textiles almost duty free. 
Lest Indian industries should nevertheless continue somehow 
to exist, an excise tax was placed on the manufacture of cotton 
goods in India. 84 As a British historian puts it: 

It is a melancholy instance of the wrong done to 
India by the country on which she has become 
dependent. Had India been independent, she would 
have retaliated, would have imposed prohibitive 
duties upon British goods, and would thus have 
preserved her own productive industry from 
annihilation. This act of self-defense was not permitted 
her; she was at the mercy of the stranger. British goods 
were forced upon her without paying any duty, and 
the foreign manufacturer employed the arm of political 
injustice to keep down and ultimately strangle a 
competitor with whom he could not have contended 
on equal terms. 85 

And another Englishman wrote: 

We have done everything possible to impoverish 
still further the miserable beings subject to the cruel 
selfishness of English commerce. Under the pretense 
of free trade, England has compelled the Hindus to 
receive the products of the steam-looms of Lancashire, 
Yorkshire, Glasgow, etc., at merely nominal duties; 
while the hand wrought manufactures of Bengal and 
Behar, beautiful in fabric and durable in wear, have 
heavy and almost prohibitive duties imposed on their 
importation into England. 86 

The result was that Manchester and Paisley flourished, 
and Indian industries declined; a country well on the way to 
prosperity was forcibly arrested in its development, and 
compelled to be only a rural hinterland for industrial England. 
The mineral wealth abounding in India's soil was not 
explored, for no competition with England was to be 
allowed. 87 The millions of skilled artisans whom Indian 
handicrafts had maintained were added to the hundreds of 
millions who sought support from the land. "India," says 
Kohn, "was transformed into a purely agricultural country, 
and her people lived perpetually on the verge of starvation." 88 
The vast population which might have been comfortably 
supported by a combination of tillage and industry, became 
too great for the arid soil; and India was reduced to such 
penury that to-day nothing is left of her men, her women and 
her children but empty stomachs and fleshless bones. 

It might have been supposed that the building of 30,000 
miles of railways would have brought a measure of prosperity 
to India. But these railways were built not for India but for 
England; not for the benefit of the Hindu, but for the purposes 
of the British army and British trade. If this seems doubtful. 





observe their operation. Their greatest revenue comes, not, as 
in America, from the transport of goods (for the British trader 
controls the rates), but from the third-class passengers— the 
Hindus ; but these passengers are herded into almost barren 
coaches like animals bound for the slaughter, twenty or more 
in one compartment. The railroads are entirely in European 
hands, and the Government has refused to appoint even one 
Hindu to the Railway Board. The railways lose money year 
after year, and are helped by the Government out of the 
revenues of the people; these loans to date total over 
$100,000,000. The Government guarantees a minimum rate of 
interest on railway investments; the British companies who 
built the roads ran no risk whatever. No play or 
encouragement is given to initiative, competition, or private 
enterprise; the worst evils of a state monopoly are in force. All 
the losses are borne by the people; all the gains are gathered 
by the trader. 89 So much for the railways. 

Commerce on the sea is monopolized by the British even 
more than transport on land. The Hindus are not permitted 
to organize a merchant marine of their own; 90 all Indian goods 
must be carried in British bottoms, as an additional strain on 
the starving nation's purse; and the building of ships, which 
once gave employment to thousands of Hindus, is 
prohibited. 91 

To this ruining of the land with taxation, this ruining of 
industry with tariffs, and this ruining of commerce with 
foreign control, add the drainage of millions upon millions of 
dollars from India year after year~and the attempt to explain 
India's poverty as the result of her superstitions becomes a 
dastardly deception practised upon a world too busy to be 
well informed. This drain having been denied, it is only 

necessary to state the facts, and to introduce them with a 
quotation from a document privately addressed by the British 
government in India to the Parliament of England. 

Great Britain, in addition to the tribute which she 
makes India pay her through the customs, derives 
benefits from the savings of the service of the three 
presidencies (the provinces of Calcutta, NIadras and 
Bombay) being spent in England instead of in India; 
and in addition to these savings, which probably 
amount to $500,000,000, she derives benefit from the 
fortunes realized by the European mercantile 
community, which are all remitted to England. 

This is a general statement; let us fill it in. Consider first 
the drain on India through trade. Not merely is this carried 
in British ships; far worse than that, there is an astounding 
surplus of exports over imports. In the happy years of the 
Company there were such balances as $30,000,000 exports and 
$3,000,000 imports; 93 latterly the indecency has been reduced, 
and the excess of goods taken from India oyer goods brought 
into India is now a moderate one-third. In 1927, eg., imports 
were $651,600,000, exports were $892,-800,000; the excess of 
exports, $241,200,00 0. 94 Where goes the money that pays for 
this excess? We are asked to believe that it takes the form of 
silver or gold imported and hoarded by the Hindus, but no 
man that has seen their poverty can believe so shameless a 
myth. Doubtless there is some hoarding, above ail by the 
native princes, for India cannot be expected to put full faith 
in a banking system controlled by foreign masters. But it is 
the officials, the merchants and the manufacturers (most of 
whom are British) who take the great bulk of this profit, and 
return it to their countries in one form or another. As an East 





Indian merchant said in a Parliamentary report in 1853, when 
this process of bleeding was on a comparatively modest scale: 
"Generally up to 1847, the imports were about $30,000,000 and 
the exports about $47,500,000. The difference is the tribute 
which the Company received from the country." 95 

Consider, second, the drain through fortunes, dividends 
and profits made in India and spent abroad. The British come 
as officials or soldiers or traders; they make their money and 
return to Great Britain. Let an Englishman, Edmund Burke, 
describe them — and intensify his description to-day in 
proportion to the growth of British positions, manufactures 
and commerce in India. 

They have no more social habits with the people 
than if they still resided in England ; nor indeed any 
species of intercourse but that which is necessary to 
make a sudden fortune. Animated with all the avarice 
of age, and all the impetuosity of youth, they roll in 
one after another ; wave after wave , and there is 
nothing before the eyes of the natives but an endless, 
hopeless prospect of new flights of birds of prey and 
passage, with appetites continually renewing for a 
food that is continually wasting. Every rupee of profit 
made by an Englishman is lost forever to India. 96 

Consider, third, the drain through salaries and pensions 
derived from India and spent abroad. In 1927 Lord Winterton 
showed, in the House of Commons, that there were then some 
7500 retired officials in Great Britain drawing annually 
$17,500,000 in pensions from the Indian revenue ; 97 Ramsay 
MacDonald put the figure at $20,000,000 a year. 98 When 
England, which is almost as over-populated as Bengal, sends 
its sons to India, she requires of them twenty-four years of 

service, reduced by four years of furloughs ; she then retires 
them for life on a generous pension, paid by the Hindu people. 
Even during their service these officials send their families or 
their children to live for the most part in England; and they 
support them there with funds derived from India. 99 Almost 
everything bought by the British in India, except the more 
perishable foods, is purchased from abroad. 100 A great 
proportion of the funds appropriated for supplies by the 
Government of India is spent in England. 

As early as 1783 Edmund Burke predicted that the 
annual drain of Indian resources to England without 
equivalent return would eventually destroy India. 101 From 
Plassey to Waterloo, fifty-seven years, the drain of India's 
wealth to England is computed by Brooks Adams at two-and- 
a-half to five billion dollars. 102 He adds, what Macaulay 
suggested long ago, that it was this stolen wealth from India 
which supplied England with free capital for the development 
of mechanical inventions, and so made possible the Industrial 
Revolution. 103 In 1901 Dutt estimated that one half of the net 
revenues of India flowed annually out of the country, never 
to return. 104 In 1906 Mr.Hyndman reckoned the drain at 
$40,000,000 a year. A. J. Wilson valued it at one-tenth of the 
total annual production of India. 105 Montgomery Martin, 
estimating the drain at $15,000,000 year in 1838, calculated that 
these annual sums, retained and gathering interest in India, 
would amount in half a century to $40,000,000,000. 106 Though 
it may seem merely spectacular to juggle such figures, it is 
highly probable that the total wealth drained from India since 
1757, if it had all been left and invested in India, would now 
amount, at a low rate of interest, to $400,000,000,000. Allow 
for money reinvested in India, and a sum remains easily 





equivalent to the difference between the poorest and the 
richest nations in the world. The same high rate of taxation 
which has bled India to perhaps a mortal weakness, might 
have done her no permanent injury if the wealth so taken had 
all been returned into the economy and circulation of the 
country ; but bodily withdrawn from her as so much of it was, 
it has acted like a long-continued transfusion of vital blood. 
"So great an economic drain out of the resources of the land," 
says Dutt, "would impoverish the most prosperous countries 
on earth; it has reduced India to a land of famines more 
frequent, more widespread and more fatal, than any known 
before in the history of India, or of the world." 107 

Sir Wilfred Seawen Blunt sums it up from the point of 
view of a true Englishman: 

India's famines have been severer and more 
frequent, its agricultural poverty has deepened, its 
rural population has become more hopelessly in debt, 
their despair more desperate. The system of constantly 
enhancing the land values (i.e. raising the valuation 
and assessment) has not been altered. The salt 
tax... still robs the very poor. What was bad twenty- 
five years ago is worse now. At any rate there is the 
same drain of India's food to alien mouths. Endemic 
famines and endemic plagues are facts no official 
statistics can explain away. Though myself a good 
Conservative...! own to being shocked at the bondage 
in which the Indian people are held;... and I have 
come to the conclusion that if we go on developing the 
country at the present rate, the inhabitants, sooner or 
later, will have to resort to cannibalism, for there will 
be nothing left for them to eat. 108 

VI. Social Destruction 

From such poverty come ignorance, superstition, disease 
and death. A people reduced to these straits cannot afford 
education; they cannot afford the taxes required to maintain 
adequate schools; they cannot afford to spare their children 
from productive employment during the years of public 
instruction; every penny is taken from them that could have 
been used for proper education. 

When the British came there was, throughout India, a 
system of communal schools, managed by the village 
communities. The agents of the East India Company destroyed 
these village communities, and took no steps to replace the 
schools; even to-day, after a century of effort to restore them, 
they stand at only 66% of their number a hundred years ago. 109 
There are now in India 730,000 villages, and only 162,015 
primary schools. 110 Only 7% of the boys and 1Vi% of the girls 
receive schooling; i.e., 4% of the whole. 111 Such schools as the 
Government has established are not free, but exact a tuition 
fee which, though small to a Western purse, looms large to a 
family always hovering on the edge of starvation. 

We have been told that the country schools do not grow 
more rapidly because women teachers cannot be found for 
them; and that these teachers refuse to go because they fear 
that they will be raped. But women are considerably safer in 
India than in New York; not to speak of the invariably passive 
mood of the verb seduce. Every student of India knows that 
the country schools lag behind not for such lurid reasons, but 
simply because the pay for new teachers is $5.00 a month, for 
a trained teacher $5.00 to $6.50 a month, for principals $7-10 
a month. Until 1921 the pay for primary school teachers in the 





Madras Presidency was $24-36 a year. 112 (Some allowance 
must be made for the lower cost of commodities in India.) The 
Government spends every year on education eight cents a 
head; 113 it spends on the army eighty-three cents a head. 114 

In 1911 a Hindu representative, Gokhale, introduced a 
bill for universal compulsory primary education in India; it 
was defeated by the British and Government-appointed 
members. In 1916 Patel introduced a similar bill, which was 
defeated by the British and Government-appointed 
members; 115 the Government could not afford to give the 
people schools. Instead, it spent most of its eight cents for 
education on secondary schools and universities, where the 
language used was English, the history, literature, customs 
and morals taught were English, and young Hindus, after 
striving amid poverty to prepare themselves for college, found 
that they had merely let themselves in for a ruthless process 
that aimed to de-nationalize and de-Indianize them, and turn 
them into imitative Englishmen. The first charge on a modern 
state, after the maintenance of public health, is the 
establishment of education, universal, compulsory and free. 
But the total expenditure for education in India is less than 
one-half the educational expenditure in New York State. 116 In 
the quarter of a century between 1882 and 1907; while public 
schools were growing all over the world, the appropriation for 
education in British India increased by $2,000,000; in the same 
period appropriations for the fratricide army increased by 
$43,000,000. 117 It pays to be free. 

Hence the 93% illiteracy of India. In several provinces 
literacy was more widespread before the British took 
possession than it is now after a century and a half of British 
control; 118 in several of the states ruled by native princes it is 

higher than in British India. "The responsibility of the British 
for India's illiteracy seems to be beyond question." 119 The 
excuse that caste interferes with education will not hold; caste 
did not interfere with the crowding of every Hindu class 
indiscriminately in railway coaches, tram-cars and factories; 
it need not have interfered with schools; the best way to 
conquer caste would have been through schools. Is it any 
wonder that a people so stupefied with poverty and lack of 
education is too ignorant to use birth-control, and practises 
superstitions worse even than those of the West? 

Instead of encouraging education, the Government 
encouraged drink. When the British came, India was a sober 
nation. "The temperance of the people," said Warren Hastings, 
"is demonstrated in the simplicity of their food and their total 
abstinence from spirituous liquors and other substances of 
intoxication." 120 With the first trading posts established by the 
British, saloons were opened for the sale of rum, and the East 
India Company made handsome profits from the trade. 121 
When the Crown took over India it depended on the saloons 
for a large part of its revenue; the license system was so 
arranged as to stimulate drinking and sales. The Government 
revenue from such licenses has increased seven-fold in the last 
forty years ; in 1922 it stood at $60,000,000 annu ally-three 
times the appropriation for schools and universities. 

Miss Mayo tells us that Hindu mothers feed opium to 
their children; and she concludes that India is not fit for Home 
Rule. What she says is true; what she does not say makes what 
she says worse than a straight-forward lie. She does not tell 
us (though she must have known) that women drug their 
children because the mothers must abandon them every day 
to go to work in the factories. She does not tell us that the 





opium is grown only by the Government, and is sold 
exclusively by the Government ; that its sale, like the sale of 
drink through saloons, is carried on despite the protest of the 
Nationalist Congress, the Industrial and Social Conferences, 
the Provincial Conferences, the Brahmo-Somaj, the Arya- 
Somaj, the Mohammedans and the Christians ; that there are 
seven thousand opium shops in India, operated by the British 
Government, in the most conspicuous places in every town; 122 
that the Central Legislature in 1921 passed a bill prohibiting 
the growth or sale of opium in India, and that the Government 
refused to act upon it; 123 that from two to four hundred 
thousand acres of India's soil, sorely needed for the raising of 
food, are given over to the growing of opium ; 124 and that the 
sale of the drug brings to the Government one-ninth of its total 
revenue every year. 125 She does not tell us that Burma 
excluded opium by law until the British came, and is now 
over-run with it; that the British distributed it free in Burma 
to create a demand for it ; 126 that whereas the traffic has been 
stopped in the Philippines, England has refused, at one World 
Opium Conference after another, to abandon it in India; that 
though she has agreed to reduce the export of opium by 10% 
yearly, she has refused to reduce its sale in India ; that the 
Report of the Government Retrenchment Commission of 1925 
emphasized " the importance of safe -guarding opium sales as 
an important source of revenue/' and recommended "no 
further reduction''; 127 that when Gandhi by a peaceful anti- 
opium campaign in Assam had reduced the consumption of 
the drug there by one-half, the Government put a stop to his 
labours and jailed, forty -tour of his aides. 125 She does not tell 
us that the health, courage and character of the Hindu people 
have been undermined through this ruthless drugging oi a 

nation by men pretending to be Christians. 

On July 10, 1833, Lord Macaulay addressed the House 
of Commons as follows: 

It was . . . the practice of the miserable tyrants whom 
we found in India, that when they dreaded the 
capacity and spirit of some distinguished subjects, and 
yet could not venture to murder him, to administer to 
him daily dose of the pousta , a preparation of opium, 
the effect of which was in a few months to destroy all 
the bodily and mental powers of the wretch who was 
drugged with it, and turn him into a helpless idiot. 
That detestable artifice, more horrible than 
assassination itself, was worthy of those who 
employed it. It is no model for the English nation. We 
shall never consent to administer the pousta to a whole 
community, to stupefy and paralyze a great people/ 29 

These words were spoken almost a century ago. 

VII. The Triumph of Death 

The last chapter is disease and death. 

The emaciation of the Hindus sickens the traveller; closed 
fingers can be run up around their bare legs from the ankles 
to the knees. In the cities 34% of them are absent from work, 
on any day, from illness or injury. They are too poor to afford 
foods rich in mineral salts; they are too poor to buy fresh 
vegetables, much less to buy meat. The water-supply, which 
is usually the first obligation of a government, is in primitive 
condition, after a century or more of British rule; dysentery 
and malaria have been eliminated from Panama and Cuba, but 
they flourish in British India. Once the Hindu was known to 





be among the cleanest of the clean; 130 and even to-day he 
bathes every morning, and washes every morning the simple 
garment that he wears; but the increase of poverty has made 
social sanitation impossible. Until 1918 the total expenditure 
on public health, of both the central and the provincial 
governments combined, was only $5,000,000 a year, for 
240,000,000 people — an appropriation of two cents per 
capita. 131 

Sir William Hunter, once Director-General of Indian 
Statistics, estimated that 40,000,000 of the people of India were 
seldom or never able to satisfy their hunger. 132 Weakened with 
malnutrition, they offer low resistance to infections; epidemics 
periodically destroy millions of them. Inl901, 2,72,000 died of 
plague introduced from abroad; in 1902, 5000,000 died of 
plague; in 1903, 800,000; in 1904, 1,000,000. 133 In 1918 there 
were 125,000,000 cases of influenza, and 12,500,000 recorded 
deaths. 134 

We can now understand why there are famines in India. 
Their cause, in plain terms, is not the absence of sufficient 
food, but the inability of the people to pay for it. Famines have 
increased in frequency and severity under British rule. From 
1770 to 1900, 25,000,000 Hindus died of starvation; 15,000,000 
of these died in the last quarter of the century, in the famines 
of 1877,1889,1897, and 1900. 135 Contemporary students 136 
estimate that 8,000,000 will die of starvation in India during 
the present year. It was hoped that the railways would solve 
the problem by enabling the rapid transport of food from 
unaffected to affected regions; the fact that the worst famines 
have come since the building of the railways proves the cause 
has not been the lack of transportation, not the failure of the 
monsoon rains (though this, of course, is the occasion), nor 

even over-population (which is a contributory factor) ; behind 
all these as the fundamental source of the terrible famines in 
India, lies such merciless exploitation, such unbalanced 
exportation of goods, and such brutal collection of high taxes 
in the very midst of famine, 137 that the starving peasants 
cannot pay what is asked for the food that the railways bring 
them. American charity has often paid for the relief of famine 
in India while the Government was collecting taxes from the 
dying. "There has never been a single year," says Dutt, "when 
the food-supply of the country was insufficient for the 
people." 138 Let the late President of Union Theological 
Seminary, Dr. Charles C. Hall, speak: 

The obvious fact stares us in the face that there is 
at no time, in no year, any shortage of food-stuffs in 
India. The trouble is that the taxes imposed by the 
British Government being 50% of the produce, the 
Indian starves that India's annual revenue may not be 
diminished by a dollar. 80% of the whole population 
has been thrown back upon the soil because England's 
discriminating duties have ruined practically every 
branch of native manufacture. We send shiploads of 
grain to India, but there is plenty of grain in India. The 
trouble is that the people have been ground down till 
they are too poor to buy it. Famine is chronic there 
now, though the same shipments of food-stuffs are 
made annually to England, the same drainage of 
millions of dollars goes on every year. 139 

The final item is the death-rate. In England the death-rate 
is 13 per 1000 per year; in the United States it is 12; in India it 
is 32. 140 Flalf the children born in Bengal die before reaching 
the age of eight. 141 In a recent year (1921) the infant mortality 





in Bombay was 666 per 1000. 142 Lt. Col. Dunn, of the Indian 
Medical Service, says the one-half of the death-rate is 
preventable; if we doubt this we need only study the case of 
Cuba, which under Spanish rule was ridden with malaria, 
typhus and cholera, and had one of the world's highest death- 
rates, while now, under freedom, it has become one of the 
healthiest of countries, arid its death-rate is among the lowest 
known. 14 J But in India ten are born that three, or six, or eight 
of them may die within a year. 

This is the conclusion of the play: taxation, exploitation, 
starvation, death. 

And now, having quoted authorities sufficiently to guard 
against relying on my own too brief experience, I may be 
permitted, despite that limitation, to express my own 
judgment and feeling. I came to India admiring the British, 
marvelling at their imperial capacity for establishing order and 
peace, and thankful for the security which their policing of the 
world's waters have given to every traveller. I left India feeling 
that its awful poverty is an unanswerable indictment of its 
alien government, that so far from being an excuse for British 
rule, it is overwhelming evidence that the British ownership 
of India has been a calamity and a crime. For this is quite 
unlike the Mohammedan domination: those invaders came to 
stay, and their descendants call India their home; what they 
took in taxes and tribute they spent in India, developing its 
industries and resources, adorning its literature and art. If the 
British had done likewise, India would to-day be a flourishing 
nation. But the present plunder has now gone on beyond 
bearing; year by year it is destroying one of the greatest and 
gentlest peoples of history. 

The terrible thing is that this poverty is not a beginning, 
it is an end; it is not growing less, it is growing worse; England 
is not "preparing India for self-government," she is bleeding 
it to death, "Even as we look on," said another loyal 
Englishman, H.M.Hyndman, "India is becoming feebler and 
feebler. The very life-blood of the great multitude under our 
rule is slowly, yet ever faster ebbing away." 144 

Any man who sees this crime, and does not speak out, 
is a coward. Any Englishman or an American, seeing it and 
not revolted by it, does not deserve his country or his name. 





I. Portrait 

Picture the ugliest, slightest, weakest man in Asia, with 
face and flesh of bronze, close cropped gray head, high cheek 
bones, kindly little brown eyes, a large and almost toothless 
mouth, larger ears, an enormous nose, thin arms and legs, clad 
in a loin-cloth, standing before an English judge in India, on 
trial because he has preached liberty to his countrymen. 
Picture him again similarly dressed, at the Viceroy's palace in 
Delhi, in conference on equal terms with the highest 
representative of England. Or picture him seated on a small 
carpet in a bare room at his Satyagrahashram, or School of 
Truth-Seekers, at Ahmedabad; his bony legs crossed under 
him in Yogi fashion, soles upward, his hands busy at a 
spinning-wheel, his face lined with the sufferings of his people, 
his mind active with ready answers to every questioner of 
freedom. This naked weaver is both the spiritual and the 
political leader of 320,000,000 Hindus; when he appear in 
public, crowds gather round him to touch his clothing or to 
kiss his feet; 1 not since Buddha had India so reverenced any 
man. He is in all probability the most important, and beyond 
all doubt the most interesting, figure in the world today. 
Centuries hence he will be remembered when of his 
contemporaries hardly a name will survive. 

He receives you without effusion or ceremony for you 
he provides a chair, but he is content to squat on the floor. He 


looks at you a moment smiles his acknowledgment of your 
interest in Indias, ands resumes his spinning while he talks. 
Four hours a day he spins the coarse Khaddar. His only 
possessions in the worlds are three Khaddar cloths, which serve 
him as a wardrobe; once a rich lawyer, he has given all his 
property to the poor, and his wife, after some womanly 
hesitation has followed his example. He sleeps on a piece of 
Khaddar spread on the bare floor or the earth. He lives on nuts, 
plantains, lemons, oranges, dates, rice and goat's milk; 2 often 
for months together he takes nothing but milk and fruit; he 
has tasted meat but once in his life. Usually he eats with the 
children whom he teaches; they are his sole creation, and when 
His Majesty's officers came to arrest him, in 1922 , they founds 
him frolicking in the yard with these youngsters. He not only 
prays, rising at four a.m. for an hour of prayer and meditation, 
but he fasts. "I can as well do without my eyes," he says, "as 
without fasts. What the eyes are for the outer world, fasts are 
for the inner;" 3 as the bloods thins, the mind clears, 
irrelevancies fall away, and fundamental things, sometimes 
even the Soul of the World, come into vision like mountain- 
tops through a cloud. 

At the same time that he fasts to see God, he keeps one 
toe on the earth, and advises his followers to take an enema 
daily when they fast, lest they be poisoned with the acid 
products of the body's self-consumption just as they are 
finding God. 4 When, in 1924, the Moslems and the Hindus 
were engaged in killing one another theologically, and paid 
no heed to his pleas for peace, he went without food for three 
weeks to move them. He has become so weak and frail 
through fasts and privations that when he addresses audiences 
he must, in most cases, speak from a chair. 5 





He carries his asceticism into the field of sex, and like 
Tolstoi he would limit all physical inter-course to deliberate 
reproduction. In his youth he indulged the flesh too much, and 
the news of his father's death surpiised him in the arms of 
love. He returned with passionate remorse to the Hindu 
doctrine of Brahmacharya which had been preached to him in 
his youth — absolute abstention from all sensual desire. He 
persuaded his wife that they should live henceforth like 
brother and sister, avoiding all sexual behavior; and "from that 
time," he tells us, "all dissension ceased." When later he 
realised that India's basic need was birth- control, he adopted 
not the methods of the West, but the theories of Malthus and 

Is it right for us, who know the situation to bring 
forth children? We only multiply slaves and weaklings 
if we continue the process of procreation whilst we feel 
and remain helpless . . . Not till India has become a free 
nation... have we the right to bring forth progeny... I 
have not a shadow of doubt that married people, if 
they wish well to the country and want to see India 
become a nation of strong and handsome, well-formed 
men and women, would practise self-restraint and 
cease to procreate for the time being. 7 

With such a history behind him he is naturally a rigorist 
in morals. He believes with Christ that he who looks upon a 
woman with desire in his heart already committed adultery. 
He abolishes prostitution, and denounces the West for abusing 
a minority of the "nobler sex" in order to satisfy bachelors and 
adulterers. 8 Prostitutes have been comforted by his message, 
and have come great distances to lay their savings at his feet 
and pledge themselves to continue. 9 Fie admits that India is 

over-sexed, and partly for that reason he would welcome the 
total prohibition of alcoholic beverages in his country. 10 Even 
art seems to him a vain and frivolous thing when it is divorced 
from nature and morals. 

I love music and all the other arts, but I do not 
attach such value to them as is generally done. I 
cannot, for example, recognize the value of all these 
activities which require special technical knowledge 
for their understanding... When I gaze at the star- 
sown heaven, and the infinite beauty it affords my 
eyes, that means more to me than all that human art 
can give me. That does not mean that I ignore the 
value of those works generally called artistic; but 
personally, in comparison with the infinite beauty of 
nature, 1 feel their unreality too intensely... Life is 
greater than all art. 11 

Added to these elements in his character, which must 
make him an unattractive figure to our Epicurean West, are 
qualities strangely like those that (we are told) distinguished 
Christ. He does not mouth the name of the Founder of 
Christianity but he acts as if the Sermon on the Mount were 
his perpetual guide. Not since St. Francis of Assisi has any life 
known to history been so marked by gentleness, 
disinterestedness, simplicity of soul, and forgiveness of 
enemies. It is to the credit of his opponents, but still more to 
his own, that his courtesy to them has been so consistent that 
it has won from them a fine courtesy in return; the 
Government sends him to jail with the most profuse apologies. 
He has never shown rancor or resentment. Three times he has 
been attacked by mobs, and been beaten almost to death; not 
once has he retaliated; and when a leading assailant was 





arrested he refused to make any charge against him. Shortly 
after the worst of all riots between Muslims and Hindus, when 
the Mohammedans of Moplahs butchered hundreds of 
unarmed Hindus and offered their prepuces as a convenant 
to Allah, these same Moplahs were stricken with famine; 
whereupon Gandhi collected funds for them from all India, 
and (with no regard for the best precedents in matters of 
charity) forwarded every anna, without deduction for 
"overhead," to the starving enemy. 12 

Missionaries in India hail him as the greatest Christian 
of our time. Like Buddha and Miranda, he has suffered with 
those he has seen suffer; he has taken all the tribulation of his 
people upon himself, fighting for their freedom and fasting for 
their sins. And so a nation that would never have been thrilled 
by a purely secular call, has put itself trustfully into his hands, 
has accepted his hard doctrine of peaceful resistance, and has 
anointed him as its leader and prophet, its Mahatma , or Great 
Soul. We hcive the astonishing phenomenon of a revolution led 
by a saint. 

II. Preparation 

He was born in 1869 at Porbander, in the province of 
Gujarat, and was named Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. His 
family belonged to the Vaisya caste, or business class, and to 
the Jain sect of religious devotees, who practised the principle 
of never injuring a living thing. Elis father was a capable 
administrator but an unorthodox financier; he lost place after 
place through honesty, gave nearly all his wealth to charity, 
and left the rest to his family. 13 Mohandas went to the village 
school, and increased rapidly in wisdom and understanding. 

While still a boy he became an atheist, being displeased with 
the gallantries of certain adulterous Hindu gods; and to make 
clear his everlasting scorn for religion, he scandalized 
everyone by eating meat. The meat disagreed with him, and 
he became religious again. 

At eight he was engaged, and at twelve he was married, 
to Kasturbai, who has been loyal to him through all his 
adventures, riches, poverty, imprisonments, and Brahmacharya . 
At eighteen he passed examinations for the university, and 
went to London to study law. His mother was loath to see him 
go, and exacted from him a promise, sworn to before a priest, 
to abstain from wine, meat, and sexual relations while away 
from India: 14 In London he did his best to become an "English 
gentleman"; he dressed with devotion, and took lessons in 
elocution, dancing, violin and French. 15 The schedule proved 
too much for him, and in a lucid interval he threw over the 
whole social curriculum, and resolved to abandon forever the 
attempt to be an Englishman. When he returned to India he 
was more Hindu than before. 

Those years in London taught him three subversive 
ideas : nationalism, democracy, and Christianity. He observed 
the free life of the English, and their control over their 
Government; and he conceived the idea that his own people 
would enjoy a like independence. He admired the English 
form of government, and wished that British practice would 
conform with English theory; he marveled that a people so 
dedicated to liberty should be capable of enslaving a nation. 
The London Vegetarian Society won him to its creed, and the 
English Theosophists persuaded him to study the most famous 
production of his country's literature, the Bhagavad-Gita. 16 He 
read Mazzini, and felt for India all that that passionate patriot 





had felt for Italy. He read Thoreau, and learned from him the 
art of civil disobedience; he translated parts of Plato and 
Ruskin; and he consumed page after page of Tolstoi. Here 
again was the doctrine of resistance without violence; here too 
was the condemnation of all non-reproductive sexual relations. 
In his first year in England he read eighty books on 
Christianity; but the only one of them that seemed to him to 
understand Christ was the New Testament. The Sermon on the 
Mount "went straight to my heart on the first reading." 17 He 
took the counsels to return good for evil, and to avoid all 
violence even to enemies, as the highest expression of all 
human idealism; and he resolved rather to fail with these than 
the succeeded without them. 

He had gone to England in 1888; in 1891, having been 
admitted to the Bar, he returned to India. For a while he 
practised law in Bombay. He refused to prosecute for debt, 
and always reserved the right to abandon a case which he had 
come to think unjust. 18 In 1893 he received a call from South 
Africa to conduct some litigation for a Hindu firm doing 
business in Pretoria. When for this second time he left India 
he thought he would return to it presently and permanently; 
he did not suspect that Africa would hold him for twenty 
years. Within a short time after his arrival he had built up for 
himself a profitable practice in Johannesburg, with an income 
of over $20,000 a year. 19 He was, for those days, and at a 
remarkably early age, a rich man. 

He found his fellow-Hindus in South Africa bitterly 
maltreated by prejudice and law. They had come to Natal 
originally as contract labourers; gradually they had built up 
a thriving settlement, whose growth gave the English and the 
Boers an unpleasant topic to agree ■ ^ a Hr ,1 

peoples took various means of suggesting to the Hindus the 
desirability of their returning to India at an early date : they 
threw them out of trains and hotels, insulted them, kicked 
them down stairs, and had them beaten up by those expert 
gangs which can be hired for these purposes in all civilized 
communities. 20 In 1906 the South African Government passed 
an act requiring the Hindus to report to the police for the 
taking of their thumb-prints. In 1912 the Union Court of South 
Africa declared all marriages by Hindu rite to be null and 
void; and the Government of Natal laid upon every Hindu in 
the province a poll tax of $15 a year. 

Gandhi was about to return to India when a committee 
of Hindus asked his help against these disabilities. They 
offered him large fees. He agreed to remain and give himself 
to their cause; he refused all pay, abandoned the comfortable 
mode of life to which he had become accustomed, and devoted 
all his time, for the next twenty years, to the cause of his 
countrymen in Africa. He organized and guided them, taught 
them peaceful resistance, and built for their refuge a rural 
retreat where any Hindu might come and live if, like Gandhi, 
he would take the vows of poverty and non-violence. He 
presented the case of his people in London, and secured large 
concessions. He presented their in India, and roused the 
mother country to indignation. When he returned to Africa an 
enraged mob of white men attacked him at the pier, and he 
was saved only because an Englishwoman bravely interposed 
her own body between him and the blows. It was a 
characteristic example of the English spirit of fair play in a 
surrounding of British stupidity : the crowd had long before 
announced its intentions, and an honorable government could 
easily have dispersed it. 





Gandhi himself was not over-consistent in those days. 
When England fought the Boers he favored England, 
organized a Red Cross unit of a thousand Hindus, and led 
them so intrepidly under fire that he was cited for bravery and 
awarded a medal of honor. He had hoped that a grateful 
England would repay this loyalty of his race; instead, the 
concessions promised to him in London were ignored, and 
when he protested he was sent to jail. The authorities were 
soon compelled to release him, for the Hindus, freed from his 
leadership, had reverted to violence. The Government 
suggested to him that if he would abbey the registration law 
it would remove many of the disabilities affecting the Hindus. 
He agreed, but on the way to register he was set upon by some 
Mohammedans among his followers, who, inspired with the 
thought that he was betraying them, beat him nearly to death. 
He had himself carried to the place of registry, registered, and 
fell unconscious. The British arrested the chief assailant, but 
Gandhi refused to make a complaint against him. "The man 
will yet be my friend," he said. 

His people now followed him in his compromise, and the 
Government rewarded them with a promise to repeal the poll 
tax. When the promise was not kept, Gandhi led a vast 
procession of Hindus in protest. He was again arrested, and 
was sentenced to fifteen months' imprisonment. Finally in 
1913 the Government yielded, repealed the poll tax, and 
restored the validity of Hindu marriage. 21 A year later Gandhi 
returned to India. 

III. Revolution by Peace 

Perhaps only now, when he came back to his native 

country as a mature man, seasoned with experience and 
tempered with suffering, did he realize the extent of the 
destitution and slavery of his people. He was horrified, in his 
sharp social conscience, by the skeletons whom he saw in the 
fields of India, and the lowly Outcastes in the towns. It 
dawned upon him that the disabilities of his countrymen 
abroad were merely on consequence of their poverty and 
subjection at home. He was moved as Buddha had been by 
the sight of his fellows' suffering. 

I came reluctantly to the conclusion that the British 
connection had made India more helpless than she 
ever was before, politically or economically.... The 
Government established by law in British India is 
carried on for this exploitation of the masses. No 
sophistry, no jugglery in figures, can explain away the 
evidence the skeletons in many villages present to the 
naked eye. I have no doubt whatsoever that both 
England and the town- dwellers of India will have to 
answer, if there is a God above, for this crime against 
humanity which is perhaps unequalled in history. 22 

At the height of his first non-co-operation movement he 
offered to the Government to abandon his whole program of 
resistance to it, and to co-operate with it loyally, if it would 
undertake an energetic campaign against starvation in India. 23 
The Government did not see the necessity. 

He had hardly established himself at home when the 
Great War began. That same preference for loyalty and co- 
operation which had marked him in Africa drove him now to 
devote his energies and abilities as a leader to helping the 
cause of Britain in every way but violence. His naive 
confidence in the innocence of the Allies went so far that he 





advocated the enlistment of Hindus who did not accept the 
principle of non-violence. He did not, at that time, agree with 
those who called for the full independence of India ; he 
believed that British misgovernment in India was an exception, 
and that British government in general was good; that British 
government in India was bad just because it violated all the 
principles of British government at home; that if the British 
people could only be made to understand the case of the 
Hindus, it would soon accept them in full brotherhood into a 
commonwealth of free dominations. 24 He trusted that when 
the War was over, and Britain counted India's sacrifice for the 
Empire in men and wealth, it would not hesitate any longer 
to give her liberty. In 1918 he wrote : 

If I could make my countrymen retrace their steps, 
I would make them withdraw all the Congress 
resolutions and not whisper "Home Rule" or 
"responsible government" during the pendency of the 
War. I would make India offer all her able-bodied sons 
as a sacrifice to the Empire at its critical moment; and 
I know that India, by this very act, would become the 
most favourite partner, and racial distinctions would 
become a thing of the past. 25 
At the close of the War the British met the movement for 
Home Rule by passing the Rowlatt Acts, which put an end to 
freedom of speech and press ; by announcing, through Lord 
Birkenhead and Lloyd George, that England had no intention 
of releasing her hold on India; by establishing the impotent 
legislature of the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms ; and finally, 
by the massacre of Amritsar.* 

Gandhi was horrified. On August 1, 1920, he wrote as 
* Cf. Chapter Three 

follows to the Viceroy : 

It is not without a pang that I return the Kaisar-i- 
Hind Gold Medal granted to me by your predecessor 
for my humanitarian work in South Africa; the Zulu 
War Medal, granted in South Africa for my services 
as an officer in charge of the Indian Volunteer 
Ambulance Corps in 1906; and the Boer War Medal for 
my services as assistant super intendent of the Indian 
Volunteer Stretcher Bearer Corps during the Boer 
War... I can retain neither respect nor affection for a 
Government which has been moving from wrong to 
wrong in order to defend its immorality... I have 
therefore ventured to suggest non-co-operation, which 
enables those who wish, to dissociate themselves from 
the Government, and which, if unattended by violence, 
must compel the Government to retrace its steps and 
undo its ways. 26 

From his quiet Ashram he sent forth throughout India 
a call for Satyagmha, truth-seeking, truth-gripping; no mere 
passive resistance, but an active civil disobedience to an 
unjust government, and a refusal to co-operate with it in 
any way. He had derived the idea from Thoreau, Tolstoi, 
and Christ; he had been encouraged in it by his 
correspondence with Tolstoi, and by the great Russian's 
"Address to a Hindu"; he had practised it successfully in 
Africa and in India. In 1918 he had found the peasants of 
Kaira, in his own province of Gujarat, suffering from 
oppressive taxation; he had advised them to refuse any 
taxes at all until the Government should come to reason; 
they had taken his advice, and borne patiently the 
punishments inflicted upon them ; and they had won. 27 





As offered by him now, Satyagraha meant many things : 
the surrender of all titles and offices held by Hindus under 
the Government ; abstention from all Governmental functions, 
administrative or social ; the gradual withdrawal of Hindu 
children form Government schools, and the establishment of 
national schools and colleges to take their place ; the 
withdrawal of Hindu funds from Government bonds; the 
boycott of Government courts, and the establishment of 
private arbitration tribunals to settle disputes among Hindus; 
refusal to perform military service ; the boycott of British 
goods ; and the propaganda of Szuaraj, Self-Rule . 28 Even the 
protection of the police and the state were to be scorned. "The 
sooner we cease to rely on Government-protection against one 
another, the better it will be for us, and the quicker and more 
lasting will be the solution ." 29 

More important than all these details to Gandhi was the 
method to be used; for without the method the goal would 
be worthless. Greater than Satyagraha was Ahimsa , without 
injury. Unlike the Revolutionists of the West, Gandhi considers 
no end worth while whose attainment requires violence; the 
greatest aim of all is to lift man out of the beast; violence is a 
reversion to the jungle, and the ability to oppose without 
hating or injuring is the test of the higher man. 

This gospel of a loving resistance pleased the Hindus 
because for two thousand years and more their religions had 
taught them gentleness and peace. Buddha had counselled 
them, five centuries before Christ, never to injure any living 
thing; Mahavira, earlier than Buddha, had instructed his Jain 
sect likewise ; Brahminism had taken over the doctrine, and 
had made it almost universal in India. Gandhi's family had 
belonged to just the sect which had set most store on the 

practice of Ahimsa. Religion seemed to Gandhi more important 
than politics, and humanness more than independence ; his 
fundamental conception of religion was reverence for all life. 
He added to the Hindu form of the principle Christ's doctrine 
of loving one's enemies ; time and again he has pardoned his 
foes ; and in the breadth of his charity he loves even 
Englishmen . 30 

He is not quite a doctrinaire ; he recognizes exceptions. 
"I believe that where there is only a choice between cowardice 
and violence, I would advise violence ." 31 If a man is peaceful 
out of fear, Gandhi would rather have him be violent. He says, 
with characteristic candor and bravery, risking his leadership 
with a word : "The Hindu, as a rule, is a coward ." 32 Certain 
Hindus allowed robbers to loot their homes and insult their 
women; he asks : "Why did not the owners of the houses 
looted die in the attempt to defend their possessions? . . . My 
non-violence does not admit of running away from danger, 
and leaving dear ones unprotected ." 33 For too many 
weaklings, he says, non-violence serves merely "as a mask to 
cover their abject cowardice... Must they not develop the 
ability to defend themselves violently before they could be 
expected to appreciate non-violence ?" 34 Nevertheless there is 
in such cases something higher than violent resistance ; it is 
when a man attacked resists as well as he can without 
violence, and then, overcome, refuses to surrender, but accepts 
the blows unanswered, and if necessary dies at his post. So it 
should be with India. 

I would risk violence a thousand times rather than 
emasculation of the race. I would rather have India 
resort to arms to defend her honor than that she 
should in a cowardly manner become or remain a 





helpless victim to her own dishonor. But I believe that 
non-violence is infinitely superior to violence . 35 

He distrusts violence because at the outset it empowers 
the unreasoning mob, and in the end it exalts not the just man 
but the most violent. He rejects Bolshevism, therefore, as alien 
to the character and purpose of India. "It may be that in other 
countries Governments may be overthrown by brute force; but 
India will never gain her freedom by the naked fist ." 36 Elis 
newer ideas, like the younger Nehru, are eager to arm the 
Hindus and follow Russia's example; but Gandhi warns them 
that a freedom based upon killing can never lead to anything 
more than a change of masters. "I do not believe in short- 
violent-cuts to success. Bolshevism is the necessary result of 
modern materialistic civilization. Its insensate worship of 
matter has given rise to a school which has been brought up 
to look upon materialistic advancement as the goal, and which 
has lost all touch with the final things of life ." 37 

It is our good fortune, in America, that Lenin and Gandhi 
do not agree, and that two great peoples, as if for our 
instruction, are moving by diverse paths to kindred ends. Just 
as Russia and America are rival laboratories designed, so to 
speak, by the Spirit of History to test the communistic vs. the 
individualistic method of production, distribution and living, 
so Russia and India will be rival laboratories to test the violent 
vs. the peaceful method of social revolution. Never has history 
made such crucial experiments on so vast a scale, or offered 
any generation, not even Christ's, so significant a spectacle. 
For in India Christ is again on trial, and stands face to face 
once more with Rome. 

But is not non-violent resistance a vain idealist's dream? 
One hears the sardonic laughter of Lenin. And Gandhi asks 

in return what progress is made when one form of violence 
is replaced by another, or materialistic ambition is 
incorporated and nationalized at the point of a million 
bayonets? "You of the West," he says, "have been taught it is 
violent power which wins. The truth is that it is passive 
resistance which has always won ." 38 He cites the victory of the 
Christians over the Roman Empire as the classic example; and 
in our own day, he thinks, the League of Nations can re-order 
the world by practicing non-co-operation without violence . 39 
He regretted the decision of China to fight the West with the 
weapons of the West, and predicted that the only result would 
be a patriotic substitution of home-made violence for foreign. 
"In casting off Western tyranny it is quite possible for such a 
nation to become enslaved to Western thought and methods. 
This second slavery is worse than the first ." 40 Always it is 
better to lose without violence than to win with it : in the one 
case we sacrifice our personal will (which is a delusion); in 
the other we sacrifice our distinctive humanity itself. 

The West will think Ahimsa a weakling's creed, a fig-leaf 
of philosophy to hide an intellectual's cowardice. Therefore, 
Gandhi tells his people, India must be ready to suffer anything 
in its campaign for freedom, and yet never make violent 
retaliation. To blows and shots, to bombs and shells there must 
be but one reply : patient refusal to deal in any way with 
British merchants, British goods, or the British Government. 
"Bravery on the battlefield is impossible for India, but bravery 
of the soul remains open to us. Non-co-operation means 
nothing less than training in self-sacrifice ." 41 It is as a brother 
said to Dhan Gopal Mukerji : "Until our blood is spilt in rivers, 
nothing can shake the foundation of British rule. ... We should 
make a holocaust of ourselves. Even if we are beaten it will 



cleanse India of cowardice." 42 When Hindus talk like this, 
freedom is near. 

IV. Christ Meets John Bull 

We shall tell later the story of the Revolt of 1921 : how it 
made rapid progress in unifying India with the call to liberty; 
how it broke out into violence at Bombay and Chauri Chaura; 
and how Gandhi, in the face of bitter criticism from his 
followers, withdrew the whole movement on the ground that 
it was degenerating into mob rule. Seldom in history has a 
man shown more courage in acting on principle in contempt 
of passing expediency and popularity. The nation was 
astonished at his decision ; it had supposed itself near to 
success ; and it did not agree with Gandhi that the method 
was as important as the end. The reputation of the Mahatma 
sank to the lowest ebb. 

It was just at this point (in March, 1922) that the 
Government, which had feared to touch him before, 
determined upon his arrest. Charging him with sedition, it sent 
soldiers to take him into custody. He made no attempt to elude 
or resist them; he asked his followers to make no protests or 
demonstrations ; and he declined to engage a lawyer or offer 
a defense. His courtesy to all infected the Court, and the Judge 
treated him in the finest tradition of English chivalry. The 
Prosecutor charged him with being responsible, through his 
literary campaign, for the violence that had marked the 
outbreak of 1921. Gandhi's reply disturbed every precedent. 
He said, quietly : 

I wish to endorse all the blame that the learned 
Advocate-General has thrown on my shoulder in 



connection with the incidents in Bombay, Madras, 
and Chauri Chaura. Thinking over these deeply, and 
sleeping over them night after night, it is impossible 
for me to dissociate myself from these diabolical 
crimes... The learned Advocate-General is quite 
right when he says that as a man of responsibility, 
a man having had a fair share of education, having 
had a fair share of experience of this world, I should 
have known the consequences of every one of my 
acts. I knew that I was playing with fire, I ran the 
risk, and if I was set free, I would still do the same. 
I felt this morning that I would have failed in my 
duty if I did not say what I say here just now. 

I wanted to avoid violence. I want to avoid violence. 
Non-violence is the first article of my faith. It is also 
the last article of my creed. But I had to make my 
choice. I had either to submit to a system which I 
considered had done an irreparable harm to my 
country, or incur the risk of the mad fury of my people 
bursting forth when they understood the truth from 
my lips. I know that my people have sometimes gone 
mad. I am deeply sorry for it, and I am therefore here 
to submit not to a light penalty but to the highest 
penalty. 1 do not ask for mercy. I do not plead any 
extenuating act. I am here, therefore, to invite and 
cheerfully submit to the highest penalty that can be 
inflicted upon me for what in law is a deliberate crime 
and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a 
citizen. The only course open to you. Judge, is either 
to resign your post or inflict on me the severest 
penalty. 43 





The Judge expressed his profound regret that he had to 
send to jail one whom millions of his countrymen considered 
"a great patriot and a great leader"; he admitted that even 
those who differed from Gandhi looked upon him "as a man 
of high ideals and of noble and even saintly life." 44 

Then he sentenced him to six years in prison. Gandhi's 
son Devandas followed him on trial, freely acknowledged his 
guilt of sedition, and asked for the maximum penalty. 45 

Missionaries throughout India compared the proceedings 
to the trial of Jesus. Universally men said that the old 
question — what the world would do to Jesus should he return 
to earth — had been clearly answered : it would put him into 
jail. The English Bishop of Madras spoke without fear and 
without equivocation : "I frankly confess, although it deeply 
grieves me to say it, that I see in Mr. Gandhi the patient 
sufferer for the cause of righteousness and mercy, a truer 
representative of the crucified Saviour than the men who have 
thrown him into prison and yet call themselves by the name 
of Christ." 46 

Gandhi was put under solitary confinement, but he did 
not complain. "I do not see any of the other prisoners," he 
wrote, "though I really do not see how my society could do 
them any harm." But "I feel happy. My nature likes loneliness. 
1 love quietness. And now I have opportunity to engage in 
studies that I had to neglect in the outside world." 47 He 
instructed himself sedulously in the writings of Bacon, Carlyle, 
Ruskin, Emerson, Thoreau and Tolstoi, and solaced long hours 
with Ben Jonson and Walter Scott. He read and reread the 
Bhagwad-Gzta. He studied Sanskrit, Tamil and Urdu so that 
he might be able not only to write for scholars but to speak to 
the multitude. He drew up a detailed schedule of studies for 

the six years of his imprisonment, and pursued it faithfully 
till accident intervened. "I used to sit down to my books," he 
said later, "with the delight of a young man of twenty-four, 
and forgetting my four and fifty years and my poor health." 48 

Long before the expiration of his sentence he was stricken 
with appendicitis. He had often denounced Western medicine 
as false and worthless; but when the British physician 
recommended an operation, Gandhi offered no resistance. It 
was rather the doctor who hesitated. "If you die under my 
hands," he said, "every Hindu will think I killed you." Gandhi 
signed a paper absolving him in advance, and the operation 
proceeded to a successful conclusion. When the patient was 
strong enough to leave the hospital the Government did not 
send him back to jail; it released him (February 24,1924). A 
vast crowd of his countrymen gathered at the gates of the 
prison to welcome him, and many kissed his coarse garment 
as he passed. But he shunned politics and the public eye, pled 
his weakness and illness, retired to his school at Ahmedabad, 
and lived there for many years in solitude with his students. 

V. The Religion of Gandhi 

From that retreat he sent forth, weekly, editorials to his 
principal mouth-piece. Young India. Never has incidental 
literature been so vital or so absorbing. From these pages we 
come to know the man across our barriers of traditions and 
space ; and as we read we perceive that he is not only a saint, 
but also a prophet and a philosopher. 

He is first of all a man of religion ; i.e., he believes it Is 
better to be good than great, and that right will conquer in the 
end. "Most religious men I have met are politicians in disguise. 





I, however, who wear the guise of a politician, am at heart a 
religious man /' 49 He had to be : a politician, even a statesman, 
could not have united India; India stands for religion, and will 
follow only a saint. "My patriotism is subservient to my 
religion," he says . 50 India is great and holy, but greater and 
holier is truth. To this extent the nationalism vibrating in the 
Indian Revolution finds no encouragement in the Oriental 

Nevertheless, despite his piety, he laughs at the title 
Mahatma , and rejects the idea that he is a saint. "I have no 
special revelation of God's will... I have no desire to found 
a sect." He hoped that his arrest would rid India of "the 
superstition about my possession of supernatural 
powers ." 51 Doubtless other founders of religion protested 
in the same way; and Gandhi himself protests to no avail. 
Already peasant cottages show pictures representing him 
as a reincarnation of Sri-Krishna . 52 A few centuries hence 
he will be a god. 

He is too tolerant to be the conscious founder of a new 
religion. He is so inclined towards Christianity that his Hindu 
enemies call him a "Christian in disguise ." 53 He is forever 
quoting phrases from the New Testament; in one page 54 he 
cites two Christian hymns; he reminds his followers that "not 
every man who says T am a Congressman'" (i.e., a follower 
of the revolutionary Hindu National Congress) "is such, but 
only he who does the will of the Congress ." 55 The last words 
of his book on Ethical Religion are taken from Christ. He has 
scandalized orthodox Hindus by requiring the reading of the 
New Testament in his school . 56 He accepts Christianity as a 
moral doctrine, and finds no fundamental anomaly in making 
it the policy of "heathen" India against "Christian" England. 

"Why," he asks, "should you self-styled whites get it into 
your heads that Christianity is your special largess to 
distribute or interpret? You have made a mess of it yourselves. 
As a matter of fact, Christ was originally an Asiatic, as 
were all founders of religion, and I think we understand him 
much better than you do ." 57 

But just as a Hindu can be a Buddhist and a Brahminist, 
or a Buddhist and a atheist, at the same time, and just as a 
Chinese can be at once a Confucion, a Taoist and a Buddhist, 
so Gandhi thinks it nothing strange that he should be at once 
a Christian and a follower of the ancient Hindu faith. "The 
world, and therefore we, can no more do without the teaching 
of Jesus than we can without that of Mohammed or the 
Upanishads. I hold all these to be complementary of one 
another, in no case exclusive ." 58 "The spirit of the Sermon on 
the Mount competes almost on equal terms with the Bhagavad- 
Gita for the domination of my heart ." 59 He quotes the Golden 
Rule, and then compares it with a couplet from an old Hindu 
poem taught him in his childhood : "If a man gives you a drink 
of water, and you give him a drink in return, that is nothing. 
Real beauty consists in doing good against evil ." 60 

And yet, with all his welcome to Christianity, and his co- 
operation with Mohammedans, he remains a Hindu in faith 
as well as in nature and philosophy. "I do not believe," he says 
bravely, "in the exclusive divinity of the Vedas . I believe the 
Bible, the Koran and the Zendavesta to be as divinely inspired 
as the Vedas /' 61 But "nothing elates me so as the music of the 
Gita , or the Ramayana of Tulsidas ." 62 Christianity is, in general, 
as true as Hinduism ; but "Hinduism tells everyone to worship 
God according to his own faith or Dharma, and so it lives in 
peace with all religions ." 63 For him personally the religion of 





his own people is best, "My faith offers me all that is necessary 
for my inner development, for it teaches me to pray. But I also 
pray that everyone else may develop to the fullness of his 
being in his own religion, that the Christian may become a 
better Christian, and the Mohammedan a better 
Mohammedan, I am convinced that God will one day ask us 
only what we are and what we do, not the name we give to 
our being and doing." 64 

He has unequivocally applied this principle of tolerance 
in action. For India, like America, has its religious divisions, 
its Catholics called Hindu and its Protestants called 
Mohammedans. Gandhi has collaborated with the Moslem 
leaders in their own program, and in a combined program 
for Swaraj ; he has presided at Mohammedan Congresses, as 
Mohammedans have presided at the All-India National 
Congress; he has worked incessantly to reduce the conflicts 
between the two groups; he has even endangered his life by 
a twenty-one-day fast to force Hindu and Moslem leaders to 
co-operation and peace. He has denounced Hindu hatred of 
Islam, and Hindu music played in processions before 
Moslem mosques; 65 he has condemned, at great cost to his 
popularity, the war of Hindu and Moslem periodicals in the 
Punjab as "simply scurrilous"; 66 and though he has expressed 
his suspicion that the Government secretly encourages these 
divisions, he challenges his own followers by telling them 
that "only those can be set by the cars by a third party who 
are in the habit of quarreling" of themselves. 67 He carries his 
confidence in the Moslems to the extent of suggesting that 
they, like the Christians in India, and the Sikhs, and the 
Parsees, be allowed to write into the proposed Constitution 
of an autonomous India their own reservations for the 

protection of their minorities. 68 Until Moslems and blind us 
can agree, he says, all talk of self-rule is idle. 69 He 
paraphrases the saying of an Englishman, and writes : "If we 
Indians could only spit in unison, we would form a puddle 
big enough to drown 300,000 Englishmen." 70 "Hindu-Moslem 
unity," he preaches tirelessly, "means Sioaraj." 71 

There are few things in recent Hindu history more 
remarkable than Gandhi's announcement of September 18, 
1924, referring to the Hindu-Moslem riots at Lucknow. 

The recent events have proved unbearable for me. 
My helplessness is still more unbearable. My religion 
teaches me that whenever there is distress which one 
cannot remove one must fast and pray. 1 have done 
so in connection with my own dearest ones. Nothing, 
evidently, that I say or write can bring the two 
communities together. I am therefore imposing on 
myself a fast of twenty-one days, commencing from 
today. 72 

Was it a mere piece of display ? To a certain extent display 
was necessary ; the need of Hindu-Moslem unity had to be 
dramatized ; an almost theatrical stimulus had to be given to 
the national consciousness. Therefore Gandhi went, for the 
period of his fast, to the home of a Mohammedan friend, 
Maulana Mohamad Ali. For three weeks he lay quietly in bed. 
taking nothing hut water. "I am not aware," he wrote later, "of 
having suffered any pangs of hunger during the whole of the 
fast." 73 On the twenty-sixth day leaders from both the hostile 
camps met at his bedside, and issued the following statement : 
The leaders here present are profoundly 

moved We empower the President (of the 

Conference) personally to communicate to Mahatma 



Gandhi the solemn resolution of all those taking part, 
to preserve peace ; and to announce to him our 
unanimous desire that he should break his fast 
immediately. . . He himself shall select the means to be 
used to check the spread of the existing evil as rapidly 
and effectively as possible . 74 

Just as Gandhi is not shocked by Western worship of the 
Virgin, or the symbolism of the Lamb, or the drama of the 
Mass, so we must not be shocked at his simple acceptance of 
certain elements in Hinduism which seem to us rank 
superstition. As John Haynes Holmes says, "Hinduism 
belongs to Gandhi as the Judaism of the first century belonged 
to Jesus ." 75 Most disturbing of all these local vestiges is his 
acceptance of caste. The many minor or subordinate castes 
which have formed in India will, he believes, soon disappear; 
but the four fundamental castes will remain, in their present 
or an equivalent form, because, he thinks, they are demanded 
by the natural variety and inheritance of ability and 
character . 76 He does not approve of intermarriage among these 
groups. To an American who questioned caste he said : "Do 
you not believe in heredity? Do you not believe in eugenics? 
Do you not have classes in your country ?" 77 And to the 
complaint that it seemed unjust to hold a capable man through 
life to a low caste into which he had been bom, he replied that 
he believed in re-incarnation, and therefore relied upon 
successive avatars to redress the balance : A capable Sudra, if 
he lived honorably, would be re-born into a higher caste . 78 
Having offended the radicals and the Westerners with this 
defense of a dying institution he offends the conservatives, and 
the great majority of his countrymen, by advocating the 
emancipation of woman, the elimination of the disabilities 



affecting widows, the abolition of child-marriage, and above 
all the removal of "untouchability ." 79 

In the history of the world religions there is perhaps 
nothing like our treatment of the suppressed classes . 80 
If the Indians have become the Pariahs of the Empire, 
it is retributive justice, meted out to us by a just 
God... Should we Hindus not wash our blood stained 
hands before we ask the English to wash theirs? 
Untouchability has degraded us, made us Pariahs in 
South Africa, East Africa, Canada. So long as Hindus 
willfully regard Untouchability as part of their 
religion, so long Swaraj is impossible of attainment. 
India is guilty. England has done nothing blacker . 81 

So he announces, boldly, that self-rule is out of the 
question, and undeserved, while Untouchability remains. 
"There is nothing untouchable in humanity ." 82 He has adopted 
an Untouchable girl as his own; a laughing little imp whose 
gay prattle now rules his home . 83 And to the Untouchables he 
offers the encouragement of his uncompromising program : 
"You must have the right of worship in any Temple... You 
must have admission to schools along with the children of 
other castes, without any distinction. You must be eligible to 
the highest office in the land, not excluding even that of the 
Viceroy. That is my definition of the removal of 
Untouchability. " 84 

Let us face to the full the unpleasant elements in Gandhi's 
creed. He condones idol-worship as a forgivable aid to the 
imagination of a people too harassed with poverty to have 
time for education ; and he accepts cordially the Hindu 
reverence for the cow. 

The cow to me means the entire sub-human world. 





Man through the cow is enjoined to realize his identity 
with all that lives. Why the cow was selected for 
apotheosis is obvious to me. The cow in India was the 
best companion. She was the giver of plenty. Not only 
did she give milk, but she also made agriculture 
possible. This gentle animal is a poem of pity. 
Protection of the cow means the protection of the 
whole dumb creation of God. . .Cow -protection is the 
gift of Hinduism to the world . 85 

And then, with his characteristic courage, he turns once 
more upon his own people mercilessly. "Cow-protection 
should commence with ourselves. In no part of the world are 
cattle worse treated than in India. I have wept to see Hindu 
drivers goading their oxen with the iron points of their cruel 
sticks. The half-starved condition of the majority of our cattle 
is a disgrace to us ." 86 

Obviously he accepts cow-protection, or the refusal to kill 
cattle, as bound up with Ahimsa- non-injury to any sentient 
thing. This is to Gandhi the basic idea of Hinduism, and of 
all religions ; 87 without it religion is merely a holy war. "The 
die is cast for me... The Hindu must cultivate either of these 
two faith in God or faith in one's physical might ." 88 Ahimsa 
requires belief in God; for only if the universe is governed by 
Right-even though a Right which we in our caves cannot 
understand — can we believe, in the face of violence on the 
throne, that justice will win at last. In the end we are all actors 
in the drama which God has composed; we are to God what 
the characters in Shakespeare's plays were to the mind that 
created them. "I believe in the absolute oneness of God, and 
therefore also of humanity. What though we have many 
bodies ? We have but one soul ." 89 

VI. Gandhi's Social Philosophi/ 

It is evident that the profane secularization which 
industry has brought to the West has not yet affected India ; 
the typical Hindu still thinks in terms of God, while the typical 
white man thinks in terms of earthly profit and loss. Gandhi 
would not subscribe to the contention of the Chinese 
philosopher, Hu Shih, that it is the West which is idealistic, 
and the East which is materialistic ; that saving people from 
poverty is as spiritual a business as the intellectual love of 
God. (This phrase of Spinoza's is almost a summary of Hindu 
philosophy.) Gandhi is not prepared, like Hu Shih, to welcome 
industrialization, factories, railroads, armies as a necessary 
price for Oriental liberation from the West. On the contrary 
he abhors Western civilization; he wishes to be free not only 
from England, but from that whole life of feverish industry, 
in office and factory, which England was the first to invent. 
He looks at the slums and militarism of Japan, and turns aside: 
India must not go that way. He wonders what is the purpose 
and fruit of this Western bustle and "over-production/' this 
strange mechanism for concentrating wealth, in which the 
rapid production of goods leads to universal depression and 
poverty ; this marvellous system whereby the progress of 
invention results in great fortunes among a few, and 
increasing unemployment among the rest. He believes that 
under this mode of life leisure is destroyed, rivalry takes 
merely material forms of possession, expenditure and display, 
and happiness is in the end no greater than before all the 
inventions and all the wealth . 90 He writes : 

The people of Europe today live in better built 
houses than they did a hundred years ago. Formerly 





they wore skins, and used, as their weapons, spears. 
Now they wear long trousers,... and instead of spears 
they carry with them revolvers containing five or more 
chambers.... Formerly, when people wanted to fight 
with one another, they measured between them their 
bodily strength; now it is possible to take away 
thousands of lives by one man working behind a gun 
from a hill . 91 

This is in our day an old point, but to Gandhi it is a living 
horror. He has seen the worst forms of imperialistic 
exploitation in South Africa and India, and he has known at 
first hand the filth and terror of war. For the pursuit of 
material goods for their own sake inevitably ends in war; our 
neighbor has something which would suit us well — diamond 
mines in Africa, coal and iron mines in Europe, oil-wells in 
Mesopotamia, markets and soil in Asia and South America for 
our surplus of goods and men; sooner or later we take what 
we can, and hold what we take; presently it is ours by sacred 
tradition, and any attempt to put an end to the theft is a 
violation of the peace of the world. What nobility can there 
be in a civilization that moves so naturally to murder and 
suicide, to diplomatic lies and invented atrocities, to universal 
conscription and a prostituted press, to gigantic national debts, 
and another war as soon as a new generation of simpletons 
grows up to believe new lies, not remembering the old? Such 
a civilization cannot survive; it will die in the next war, which 
will be between Europe and America. The time will come 
when the West will ask itself, amid the ruins, "What have we 
done ?'' 92 

In these errors of life-perspective the fundamental, which 
vitiates Western thought throughout, is, to Gandhi, a false 

conception of education. Every year the West flings upon life 
a million or more graduates trained in cultural studies or 
business methods, but utterly untrained in morality and 
honor. Even if they are taught the Ten Commandments in 
school, they see with their eyes, out of school, how well one 
may get along, materially, without these Verbotens; soon they 
are added to the welter of unscrupulous individuals seeking 
wealth; and when they take public office they make official 
life a running sore of negligence and corruption. 

Gandhi's own school, the Satyagrahashram, aims on the 
contrary at character first and intellect afterward; Ashram is a 
place of discipline, Satyagraha is the grasping of truth. The 
teachers vow themselves to absolute veracity, to hurt no living 
thing, to refrain from sensual desire, to live frugally, to use 
no manufactured goods from abroad, to take for themselves 
nothing which they might do without ; and the pupils are 
expected to learn from their example. The course for all 
includes manual training, spinning, agriculture, and the 
sharing of every menial task. For ten years the students are 
taught and fed without charge; then they take the vows of the 
teacher, or go free into life as the seed-carriers of a higher 
civilization, pledged only to Ahimsa — non-violence to life. 
Gandhi trusts that such Ashrams will arise everywhere in 
India, rescuing Hindu youth from the de-Hinduizing 
processes of the Government schools, and creating a people 
with those qualities of character out of which all good things 
must come , 93 and without which India may be clever and 
"enlightened," but never again great. 

Hardest of all to understand is Gandhi's rejection of 
Western medical science. At first, he tells us, he honored the 
physician, who held himself always ready to alleviate pain. 





But then he decided that medicine was the art of helping one 
organ at the expense of another, that it removed effects instead 
of causes, and that it generated new ills for every one it healed. 
Like Plato, he would have the sufferer bear his pain, keep the 
doctor away, and help nature to undertake the cure. It was 
vivisection that repelled him; he brands it as "man's blackest 
crime," and says : "I detest the unpardonable slaughter of 
innocent life in the name of science and humanity so-called ; 
and all the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood 
I count as of no consequence." All this vast pharmacopoeia is 
unnecessary; let men have fresh air, good water and exercise, 
and eat only what grows out of the earth, and the doctors will 
starve. In Utopia there will be no doctors, just as there will be 
no railways, no factories, and no slums . 94 

This hostility to everything Western culminates in the 
rejection of modem industry. The old domestic industry, 
where peasant men and women plied the spinning wheel and 
the loom, and kept themselves productively busy in the winter 
months, was good; but the confinement of men and women 
in factories, making with machines owned by others fractions 
of articles whose finished form they will never see, appears 
to Gandhi a roundabout way of burying humanity in a 
pyramid of shoddy goods . 95 Most machine products, he 
believes, are unnecessary; the labour saved in using them is 
consumed in making and repairing them; if labour is really 
saved, it is of no benefit to labour, but only to capital; labour 
is thrown into a panic eloquently named "technological 
unemployment. " 96 

Machinery is like a snake-hole, which may contain 
from one to one hundred snakes... Where there is 
machinery there are large cities, and where there are 

large cities there are tram-cars... As long as we cannot 
make pins without machinery, so long will we do 
without them. The tinsel splendor of glassware we will 
have nothing to do with, and we will make wicks, as 
of old, with home-grown cotton, and use hand-made 
earthen saucers for lamps . 97 
And then the most romantic passage of all : 

Man is so made by nature as to require him to 
restrict his movements as far as his hands and feet will 
take him.. .Railways are a most dangerous institution. 
Man by their means is getting farther and farther away 
from his maker... What is the good of covering great 
stretches of ground at high speed ? 98 

Or, as an anonymous Hindu expresses it to an 
Englishman : "You have taught us to fly in the air like birds, 
and to swim in the sea like fishes; but how to live on the earth 
you do not yet know ." 99 

What entrepreneur will solve that little problem for us? 

Gandhi offers a solution. 

What may be hoped for is that Europe, on account 
of her fine and scientific intellect, will realize the 
obvious and retrace her steps; and from this 
demoralizing industrialism she will find a way out. It 
will not necessarily be a return to the old absolute 
simplicity. But it will have to be a re-organization in 
which village life will predominate, and in which brute 
and material force will be subordinated to spiritual 
force . 100 

The first move towards this end, he thinks, is the 
restoration of the spinning wheel. "We must gradually return 
to the old simplicity !" 101 What joy there is in working with our 





hands!— what music in the song of the wheel!-how many 
composers have heard in its humming revolutions the spirit 
of the earth! "The four hours I devote to this work are more 
important to me than all the others. The fruits of my labour 
lie before my eyes/' 102 But more than that; for a hundred years 
now, since English manufactures destroyed the domestic 
industries of India, the peasant's cottage has been idle in the 
winter days; for half the year 80% of the Hindus are 
unemployed through no fault of their own. 103 How well it 
would be for happiness and a modest prosperity, if the Charka 
could be restored to those homes, filling them with busyness 
and adding to the pitifully small income of the rural family! 

But this revival requires a protective tariff; the spinning 
wheel cannot compete with the British machine loom; British 
cloth must be kept out that Hindu Khaddar may find a sale. 
Since this is impossible, because of British control of Hindu 
tariffs and ports, the only recourse left to India is a voluntary 
boycott of all foreign cloth. In this way $200,000,000 would be 
saved to India every year. 104 

So Gandhi renewed the Swadeshi movement of the old 
reformer Tilak; self-production was to be added to Swaraj, self- 
rule. He made the spinning of the Charka a test of membership 
in the National Congress; he asked that every Hindu, even the 
richest, should wear Khaddar ; if they would do that it would 
give them unity, and prove them ready to stand together 
against foreign domination. 

The response was not universal — how could it be? The 
great mass of the Hindu people cannot read; it is hard to reach 
them. But by 1928 great progress had been made. The 
spinners' association founded by Gandhi had 166 production 
depots, and 245 sales depots, taking in $1,250,000 a year; 105 

Hindu students everywhere dressed in Khaddar; distinguished 
ladies abandoned their Japanese silk saris for coarse cloths 
woven by themselves; prostitutes in brothels and convicts in 
prison began to spin; and in many cities great feasts of the 
vanities were arranged, as in Savonarola's day, at which 
wealthy Hindus and great merchants brought from their 
homes and warehouses all their imported cloth, and flung 
them into the fire. In one day at Bombay alone, 150,000 pieces 
were consumed by the flames. 106 Sceptics complained; but the 
imagination of India had been aroused; the needed symbol 
had come. 

VII. Criticism 

The outstanding feature of this social philosophy, to a 
Western mind, is its typical resemblance to the romanticism 
of Rousseau and the "Young Germany" of Schlegel's days. 
There is the same resentment against "civilization," cities and 
industries; the same longings for old idealized medieval 
ways; 107 the same preference for the East as against the West, 
like the Slavophilism of Dostoievski; the same zealous 
nationalism and horror of foreign things; the same enthusiasm 
for vernacular languages, the same revival of early 
literature; 108 the same call for freedom, based upon the same 
belief in the natural goodness of men. "I believe in human 
nature," says Gandhi. 109 And like every romantic rebel he 
enlarges his own cause to make it the cause of humanity; 
through India he will liberate the world. "Swaraj, Home Rule, 
is not really our goal. Our battle is really a spiritual battle... 
We, the miserable outcastes of the Orient, we must conquer 
freedom for all humanity." 110 When the West is sick to the 





heart of its "progress" and its prosperity, its machines and its 
speed, it will turn to India to be saved. 

We must not suppose, however, that all the leaders of 
Hindu thought accept Gandhi's creed. The most interesting 
pages of his weekly. Young India , are those in which Hindus 
of every rank, from Tagore to the Untouchables, write to him, 
question his views, and force him often to a precarious 
defense. When these critics are finished, hardly anything 
remains for a Westerner to add. 

They attack his religion. They consider him not a Hindu 
but a Christian; they quote his favorite book, the Bhagavad-Gita, 
to show him that Hinduism counsels not non-violence but 
active striking, "natural killing," for a good cause. At the Delhi 
Conference a Hindu rose and said : "I oppose this non- 
violence, this non-co-operation. I ask you, is it Hindu teaching? 
It is not. Is it Mohammedan teaching? It is not. I will tell you 
what it is. It is Christian ." 111 

They attack his pacifism; lusty young revolutionists call 
him a coward; politicians call him a missionary; a thousand 
letters denounce his "non-violence" as playing into the hands 
of an England that respects (as the Irish Revolution shows) 
only bombs and guns . 112 Politics, one writer tells him, is no 
field for saints; it is that everlasting struggle of group with 
group which is the human correlate of the biological struggle 
of species with species; and like that, it is part of the 
inescapable essence of life. Gandhi has remembered 
Christianity and forgotten Darwin; but life is Darwinian, not 
Christian, Individuals must compete, groups must compete, 
nations, alliances must compete; to reduce competition in one 
of these is to increase it in the others; "conflict is the father of 
all things." To this traditional pacifism, this turning away from 

the competitive nature of existence, one critic traces the long 
subjection and abasement of India. "If we look back," he says, 
"we discover that foreign dominion over India is a terrible 
revenge on the country, a revenge which life has taken on a 
nation which tried to deny life ." 313 Meanwhile the younger 
Nehru pours into the blood of India the iron of his 
uncompromising creed — revolution without violence if 
possible, with violence if necessary. If the present pacific 
movement fails, without doubt violence will come. 

Another twits Gandhi with dietetic inconsistencies; if 
Ahimsa means non-violence to any living thing, is it not sinned 
against in the plucking of any plant, in the eating of any 
vegetable food ? 114 The discovery by the Hindu physicist. Sir 
Jagadis Chandra Bose, that plants have a sensory system, 
leaves the religious Hindu in a precarious dietetic condition; 
how can he live without taking life? Although thousands of 
Hindus are killed in every year by snake-bites, Gandhi 
prohibits the killing of serpents. "Let us never forget," he says, 
"that the serpents have been created by the same God who 
created us and all other creatures... Thousands of Yogis and 
Fakirs live in the forests of Hindustan amidst lions, tigers and 
serpents, but we never hear of their meeting death at the hands 
of these animals. . ..I have implicit faith in the doctrine that so 
long as man is not inimical to the other creatures, they will 
not be inimical to him ." 115 

Merciless, his correspondents inform him that Ahimsa is 
: Lolly unsuited to India, because the Hindus, as he admits, 
• cards, and will use the doctrine as a cover, while the 
. rivimedans among the population are natural fighters, 

. c religion sanctifies killing for a holy cause, and finds 
u causes holy. "The Ahimsa doctrine," says one, "has made 





us sneaking, snivelling cowards." 116 "Don't you think," asks 
another, "that armed and conspired resistance against 
something Satanic and ignoble is infinitely more befitting for 
any nation... than the prevalence of effortlessness and 
philosophical cowardice? I mean the cowardice which is 
pervading the length and breadth of India owing to the 
preaching of your theory of non-violence." 117 "Two years ago," 
Gandhi writes, "a Mussulman friend said to me in all 
sincerity : T do not believe your non-violence. . .Violence is the 
law of life. I would not have Swaraj by non- violence... I must 
hate my enemy/ "This friend," adds Gandhi, "is an honest 
man. I entertain great regard for him." 118 

The critics proceed to point out the difficulties of 
Satyagraha, non-co-operation. First, as regards the masses, they 
cannot be kept non-violent; aroused as they must be to achieve 
anything, they will soon smash and kill. Second, as regards 
Hindu holders of office under the British Raj , non-co- 
operation, by demanding that they resign, puts too heavy a 
strain on human nature; many who did resign in the first flush 
of enthusiasm or display have crept back to their sinecures; 119 
and hundreds of leading Hindus, who might have supported 
the demand for Home Rule, are alienated by the call for their 
resignations — i.e., for what they consider the starvation of their 
families. 120 So with the boycott of Government schools : 
teachers who left them are now destitute, and wish they could 
return; pupils who left them are flocking back. The national 
schools organized to teach non-co-operating students had no 
funds, and could purchase only the most primitive equipment 
and the most depressing quarters; in one town with two 
Government high schools each having five hundred pupils, 
the one National high school has fifty. 121 The national schools 

that sprang up in 1921, have, with few exceptions, died. 122 The 
boycott of the courts has proved impracticable: e.g., what 
could be done when officials of the National Congress 
absconded with Congress funds? To which Gandhi gives 
reply: "At the risk of being considered inconsistent, I have no 
hesitation whatsoever in advising the Congress officials in 
Orissa to take legal proceedings against the culprits for the 
recovery of trust funds... The Congress has a perfect right to 
break its own law in its own favour. In a well-ordered state 
the maxim, 'The King can do no wrong/ has a legitimate 
purpose and place." 123 It is the strangest passage in Young 

Above all, the critics ridicule his hostility to machinery. 
"The whole world," says one, "is advancing in material 
civilization, without which we shall certainly be handicapped. 
It is now a settled fact that India fell a prey to Western nations 
because she was wanting in scientific and material progress. 
History has taught this lesson, and it cannot be overlooked." 124 
Sankara Nair, Gandhi's bitterest Hindu opponent, reminds 
him again and again that partial industrialization is 
indispensable to the freedom of India, because freedom 
requires the capacity for self-defense, and self-defense requires 
wealth. 125 Gandhi answers that he is not against machinery as 
such — that the spinning-wheel is itself a machine; but he is "a 
determined foe of all machinery that is designed for the 
exploitation of people." 126 Meanwhile fact moves on with no 
regard for argument: new factories spring up every week in 
Bombay, Calcutta, Ahmedabad and Madras; the Tata Brothers, 
Hindus, organize one of the greatest iron companies in the 
world; electric lights, trolley s-cars, railways, motor-cars, hotels, 
warehouses, daily transform the scene; and the traveller 





observes that the Hindus, just emerging though they are from 
the Middle Ages, drive automobiles as competently as though 
they had been raised in Detroit. 

Therefore Gandhi's critics laugh at the spinning-wheel, 
as a vain attempt to turn time back in its flight. It will revolve 
for a while, by the power of enthusiasm, poetry and 
imagination, but never can the Charka compete with the 
machine; sooner or later even pious Hindus will buy cloth 
where it is cheapest and best. The younger reformers think no 
longer of the Charka , but of a protective tariff that will promote 
the development of factory industry in India. Life inevitably 
moves out of the village into the city. The first flush of native 
wealth will put an end to the mysticism of Khaddar. "Khaddar 
is dearer than mill cloth/' writes one correspondent to Gandhi, 
"and our means are poor ." 127 "The mill-owners," another 
informs him, "do not hesitate to palm off fraudulent imitations 
of Khaddar on the gullible public ." 128 To wTiich Gandhi 
answers: "I would ask skeptics to go to the many poor homes 
where the spinning-wheel is again supplementing their 
slender resources, and ask the inmates whether the spinning- 
wheel has not brought joy to their homes ." 129 

Finally the poet-sage of India, Rabindranath Tagore, 
expresses in his gentle way certain difficulties which he finds 
in the program of his friend. A courteous rivalry has arisen 
between the Satyagrahashram at Ahmedabad, and Tagore s 
school, Santiniketan, at Calcutta. The poet speaks always with 
the greatest respect of the saint, but always with careful 
reservations. He finds a note of narrow nationalism in Gandhi, 
and worse, an unmistakable quality of medieval reaction. 
"Spin and weave! — is this the gospel of a new creative age?" 
To hug the Charka to oneself, and try to step out of the 

universal industrializing current of the world, to think that a 
people can become great by going backward to primitive 
conditions irrelevant to modern life — this again is a narrow 
vision. India must move with the age, she must think not in 
terms of her own oppressed people, but in terms of the 
oppressed of every nation. To attempt to divide India from the 
West is spiritual suicide . 130 To which Gandhi replies: 

When all about me are dying for want of food, the 
only occupation permissible for me is to feed the 
hungry... To a people famishing and idle, the only 
acceptable form in which God can dare appear is 
work, and promise of food as wages. . . Everyone must 
spin. Let Tagore spin like the others. Let him burn his 
foreign cloths. That is the duty today. God will take 
care of the tomorrow . 131 

Nothing is more admirable in Gandhi than his 
conscientious printing of these criticisms in his own press, and 
his patient and courteous reply to all of them except Tagore's. 
He knows that he is but human; there is no non-sense of 
inspiration about him; he says, disarmingly: "Even if my belief 
is a fond delusion, it will be admitted that it is a fascinating 
delusion ." 132 

And yet, he hopes, it is not a delusion. It is not a 
nationalist dream: it abhors war and aggrandizement, and 
trusts to establish a mode of life in which the West, weary of 
haste, may find something worthy of imitation, it envisages 
not India only as unhappy and oppressed, but all mankind. 
He knows that non-co-operation is an imperfect thing, that the 
ideal would be to co-operate with all; but today it is a 
necessary discipline, forging into unity the scattered races and 
villages of India; already it has awakened India from torpor 





and given it new strength . 133 He knows how frail a weapon 
of the spirit non-violence is in a world bristling with guns; but 
what other course is open to a country absolutely weaponless? 
"You know that we are powerless / 7 he writes in an Open Letter 
to All Englishmen in India , "for you have ensured our incapacity 
to fight in open and honorable battle ." 134 That is a strange 
phrase for Gandhi! "The British/' he writes, "want us to put 
the struggle on the plane of machine-guns. They have these 
weapons and we have not. Our only assurance of beating them 
is to keep it on the plane where we have the weapons and they 
have not. ... The way of the sword is not open to India ." 135 Yes, 
violence is the law of the animal world, more and more the 
strength of the spirit outweighs the power of fists and guns . 136 
Ahimsa may make cowards, or offer them a philosophy of 
escape; but also it makes saints of limitless bravery, who stand 
up to the pikes and pistols of the oppressor without fear and 
without retreat. Let the history of the Ro volution prove it! And 
if India cannot attain freedom without violence, she will not, 
in the judgment of Gandhi, attain it with violence. 

History teaches one that those who have, no doubt 
with honest motives, ousted the greedy by using brute 
force against them, have in their turn become a prey 
to the disease of the conquered. . .My interest in India's 
freedom will cease if she adopts violent means. For 
their fruit will be not freedom, but slavery . 137 

VII. An Estimate 

How does the man appear now, in the perspective of 
these examples of his thought? Of course he is above all an 
idealist, not a realist. He makes very little application of 

history to the understanding of the present; he is unaware of 
the careless regularity with which fate has trampled Right 
under Might, and Beauty under Power; his citation of the 
Christian conquest of Rome as an instance of successful non- 
violent non-co-operation ignores the political and economic 
factors in that "conversion" of Constantine which determined 
the victory of the Church. The biological view of life is 
unknown to him; he does not realize that morals and co- 
operaion have been developed only to give a group coherence 
and strength against competing groups. His theory of the 
spinning-wheel indicates an over-simplification of this 
complex and interdependent economic world; no nation can 
now remain medieval and be free. 

Having made this obeisance to reality, we are free to 
accept and honor Gandhi for his astonishing record of 
achievements. First, though leaping far ahead of the moral 
consciousness of mankind, which is yet tribal arid national, he 
has helped the international organization of industries and 
states to prepare us for the larger morality, in which the code 
of conduct between gentlemen will be-because world order 
will necessitate it— applied to the conduct of nations. Second, 
he has given life and meaning to a Christianity which had 
become, among ourselves, mere poetry an pretense; he has 
lifted it up to a plane where the most unscrupulous statesman 
must reckon with it as a great force; he has ennobled it beyond 
modern precedent by unconsciously attaching to its banner 
one-fifth of the human race. Third, he has for a generation kept 
a great revolutionary movement from all but sporadic 
violence; he has refused to unleash the mob; in this way he 
has been a boon to all humanity, which is so sensitive now to 
disorder anywhere. He has approached one of the 





fundamental principles of statesmanship: to persuade radicals 
that change must be gradual in order to be permanent, and 
to persuade conservatives that change must be. Fourth, he has 
educated his people: he has aroused them, as no man before 
in their history, to the evils of Untouchabilitv, temple 
prostitution, child-marriage, unmarriageable widows, and the 
traffic in opium. Fifth, and despite his partial defense of that 
caste system which perpetually divides and weakens India, he 
has, by the power of imagination and the word, given to India 
a psychological unity never possessed by it before, making all 
these races, languages and creeds feel and think alike, as the 
prelude to united action. Sixth, he has given to his countrymen 
what they needed above everything else — pride. They are no 
longer hopeless or supine; they are prepared for danger and 
responsibility, and therefore for freedom. 

If his way of thought seems alien to our skeptical and 
realistic West, let us remember that our way of thought would 
be maladapted and useless to the Hindus. The unifer of India 
could not be a politician, he had to be a saint. Because Gandhi 
thought with his heart all India has followed him. Three 
hundred million people do him reverence, and no man in the 
world wields so great a spiritual influence. It is a Tagore said 
of him: 

He stopped at the threshold of the huts of the 
thousands of dispossessed, dressed like one of their 
own. He spoke to them in their own language. Here 
was living truth at last, and not only quotations from 
books. For this reason the "Mahatma/' the name given 
to him by the people of India, is his real name. Who 
else has felt like him that all Indians are his own flesh 
and blood? When love ee rie to the door of India 

that door was opened wide... At Gandhi's call India 
blossomed forth to new greatness, just as once before, 
in earlier times, when Buddha proclaimed the truth of 
fellow-feeling and compassion among all living 
creatures . 138 

Perhaps Gandhi will fail, as saints are like to fail in this 
very Darwinian world. But how could we accept life if it did 
not, now and then, fling into the face of our successes some 
failure like this? 








I. Origins 

It was Woodrow Wilson who started the Indian 
Revolution. Did he know what he was doing when he 
scattered over every land his ringing phrases about 
democracy, self-government, and the rights of small nations? 
In every subject country — in Egypt and the near east, in China 
and India there were ears waiting for those words as the signal 
to revolt. They were the voice of the Zeitgeist calling to all men 
to be free. Were not the Allies winning, and destroying the last 
autocracy in Europe? Was not the whole world now safe for 

Those waiting spirits, of course, had been prepared; the 
ideology of liberty was not born in them over night. X oun g 
Chinese, young Japanese, young Hindus had gone to Oxford 
and Cambridge, to London and Manchester, to Harvard and 
Columbia, to Princeton and Yale. In 1923 there were 1094 
Hindu students enrolled in the schools of England. 1 They 
marvelled at the privileges enjoyed by the lowliest citizens of 
Europe and America; they studied the French and American 
Revolutions, and read the liberal literature of reform, the 
radical literature of revolt; they gloated over the Bill of Rights, 
The Declaration of the Rights of Man, the Declaration of 
Independence, and the American Constitution; they went back 
to their countries as centers of infection for democratic ideas 
and the gospel of liberty. The industrial and scientific advances 

of the West, and the vc: dory of the Allies rn the War, gave to 
these ideas an irresistible prestige; soon every student was 
shouting the battle-cry of ieeedom, In the schools of England 
and America Hie Hindus Lwmed to be free. 

And did Macaulay foresee, when he ordained that all 
higher education had so .Tnouki use the English language, 
that the Hind us would warn rvTlonahsm and democracy with 
English? It ah great her -' on re, as Thomas Hardy said, is die 
voice ot reason m revoig how could the young Hindu read 
the liter-.! U ; w cs • ry : . d -w w - n Vneu t being corrupted 
and exalted w it h the vyurution to freedom? At last the English 
in India, seeing the unschiet that was brewing, forbade the 
teaching of Lung. -vw • a. -.Tory of the eighteenth century in the 
Indian schools. I ho T v had waited too long. 2 

These Vveeke n : - .mb Orientals had not only taken on 
political ideas in ves course ot their education abroad; they had 
shed religious -ideas; uso gvo processes are usually associated, 
in the individual and w history. They came to Europe as pious 
youths, wedded \o 1 Odd ha, Krishna, Shiya, Vishnu, Kali, 
Kuanyin, and wive not; they tone tied science, and their ancient 
faith was shattered as il by a sudden electrical dissolution. 
Shorn of religious belief, which is the very spirit of India, the 
Westernized Huxley returned to their country disillusioned 
and sad; a Ham sand gods had dropped dead from the skies. 
They bevmne pceimisis and cynics like our own youth in the 
West today; they bad nothing to believe. Inevitably Utopia 
filled the place ol heaven, democracy became a substitute for 
Nirvana, liberty replaced God. What had gone on in Europe 
in the second half of the eighteenth century went van now in 
the East. 

Nevertheless the new ideas developed slowly before the 





War. In 1885 a few Hindu leaders met at Bombay and founded 
the "Indian National Congress," but they do not seem at that 
time to have dreamed even of Home Rule. Those leaders were 
mostly of the middle and business class; they accepted British 
rule in India as they accepted the behaviour of the sun; they 
recognized many benefits in that rule; what they wanted was 
not independence, but a share in the government, its dignities, 
its powers, and perhaps its spoils. The British office-holders 
could not understand this point of view; they froze the 
movement with cold stares and references to the future. 
Instead, the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, proclaimed, in 1905, his 
intention to partition Bengal, thereby destroying the unity and 
strength of the most conscious and powerful community in 
India. The result was the development of a more rebel mood, 
and the appearance of blunt leaders like the uncompromising 
Tilak, who, at the All India National Congress of 1905, 
announced to the excited delegates that India must have 
Swaraj. He had created the word out of Sanskrit roots still 
visible in its English translation, self-rule. Not content with 
that, the old tiger threatened that if Curzon persisted in the 
partition of Bengal, India would retaliate with Swadeshi , the 
boycott of foreign goods. In that same eventful year Japan 
defeated Russia, like another David slaying Goliath; and the 
East, which for a century had been fearful of the West, took 
heart, and began to think of all Asia liberating itself from the 
guns of Europe. It was in 1905, then, that the Indian 
Revolution began. 

II. A Stroke of Politics 

In its earlier stages it tended to imitate Russian methods; 

bombs were exploded, shots were fired, and the "demands" 
were often in inverse proportion to the strength of the rebels. 
With the arrival of Gandhi in 1914, and the outbreak of the 
World War, the situation changed. Gandhi, the idealist, did 
not realize that the subjection of India was one root of the War; 
that this had for a century determined British policy, and the 
size of the British navy, as well as the size of all the navies in 
the world. 4 Instead, Gandhi saw the War as an opportunity 
for securing Home Rule by proving the absolute loyalty of 
India to England. From the beginning to the end of the Great 
Madness he supported the Allies, and India followed him. 

She contributed at once $500,000,000 to the fund for 
prosecuting the War; she contributed $700,000,000 later in 
subscriptions to war loans; and she sent to the Allies various 
products to the value of $1,250,000,000. 5 The suspension of the 
Revolutionary movement enabled England to reduce the 
Indian army to 15,000 men. 6 The total number of Hindus who 
were persuaded, often by means amounting to compulsion, 
to fight for England in the war, was 1,338,620, being 1,78,000 
more than all the troops contributed by the combined 
Dominions of Canada, South Africa, Australia and New 
Zealand. 7 

None of the Hindu soldiers was granted a commission, 
however brave he might have proved himself to be. 8 Yet they 
gave a good account of themselves in France, in Palestine, in 
Syria and Mesopotamia; a British historian speaks of "the 
brilliant performances of the Indian contingent sent to France 
in 1914 at a critical time in the Great War"; 9 and some say that 
it was the Hindu troops who first turned back the Germans 
at the Marne. 10 Indian soldiers were sent even to China to fight 
unwillingly against their Asiatic brothers; the Legislature at 




Delhi questioned the Government about this, but the 
Government refused to answer. 11 It has been one of the many 
misfortunes of the Hindus, who are called unfit for self- 
defense, that they have been considered admirable military 
material to fight for any others except themselves. 

Never had a colony or a possession made so great a 
sacrifice for the master country. Every Hindu conscious of 
India looked forward hopefully now, as a reward for this 
bloody loyalty, to the admission of his country into the 
fellowship of free dominions under the English flag. Indeed, 
in 1917, when the position of England in the War was critical, 
and enthusiasm for the cause of democracy needed 
stimulation, Mr. Edwin Montagu, Secretary of State for India, 
made the following announcement in the House of Commons: 
The policy of His Majesty's Government, with 
which the Government of India are in complete 
accord, is that of the increasing association of 
Indians in every branch of the administration and 
the gradual development of self-governing 
institutions with a view to the progressive 
realization of responsible government in India as an 
integral part of the British Empire. They have 
decided that substantial steps in this direction 
should be taken as soon as possible, and that it is 
of the highest importance as a preliminary to 
considering what these steps should be that there 
should be a free and informal exchange of opinion 
between those in authority at home and in India. His 
Majesty's Government have accordingly decided, 
with Elis Majesty's approval, that I should accept the 
Viceroy's invitation to proceed to India to discuss 


the matters with the Viceroy and the Government of 
India, to consider with the Viceroy the views of local 
Governments, and to receive with him the 
suggestions of representative bodies and others. 

I would add that progress in this policy can only be 
achieved by successive stages. The British Government 
and the Government of India, on whom the 
responsibility lies for the welfare and advancement of 
the Indian peoples, must be judges of the time and 
measure of each advance, and they must be guided by 
the co-operation received from those upon whom rlew 
opportunities of service will thus be conferred and by 
the extent to which it is found that confidence can be 
reposed in their sense of responsibility. 

Shortly thereafter Mr. Montagu visited India, and in 
collaboration with the Viceroy, Lord Chelmsford, drew up the 
"Reforms" known by their names. The Secretary wished to 
carry out his promises liberally, but the Viceroy proved to be 
an obstinate conservative; 12 these things might do, he said, a 
generation or two hence. Nor did the Government in London 
encourage Montagu; the War over, it regretted his promise 
and sought devices and phrases that would break it while 
seeming to keep it. Lloyd George, then Premier, declared with 
unstatesman like clarity that Britain intended always to rule 
India, that there must always remain in India a "steel frame" 
of British power and British dominance. 13 Some time 
previously. Lord Curzon had written: "British rule of the 
Indian people is England's present and future task; it will 
occupy her energies for as long a span of the future as it is 
humanly possible to forecast." 14 And Lord Birkenhead was to 
say, in 1925: "I am not able in any foreseeable future to discern 





a moment when we may safely, either to ourselves or India, 
abandon our trust/' 15 The last word observed the best 
traditions of imperialistic hypocrisy. 

Therefore the reforms fell far short of what Montagu had 
hoped for. They established, first, the system of "Dyarchy," 
by which each province would have two ministries, one 
responsible to the provincial legislature, and having no powers 
of any account, the other responsible only to the British 
authorities, and having all the fundamental powers. 16 Any act 
of the provincial legislature could be overruled by the 
Governor, and any act of the Governor, if he considered it 
necessary to the interests of the Empire, could be passed by 
decree over the heads of the legislature. 17 

A similar arrangement castrated the Central Assembly; 
here too the only right was to speak; all authority remained 
with the Viceroy. He was empowered to enact any measure 
which might seem necessary to him, even if it must be over a 
unanimous adverse vote of the Assembly; he could collect 
taxes which the Assembly had refused to vote; he controlled 
the expenditures, taxation and defense, and was free to pay 
salaries and pensions denied by the Assembly. When this 
remarkable form of progressive self-government reached 
England, a member of Parliament, Dr. Rutherford, said of it: 
"Never in the history of the world was such a hoax 
perpetrated upon a great people as England perpetrated upon 
India, when in return for India's invaluable service during the 
War, we gave to the Indian nation such discreditable, 
disgraceful, undemocratic, tyrannical constitution." 18 

The Tories 19 have answered that it would have been 
unwise to give more power to legislatures elected by so 
illiterate a people — forgetting that one-fifth of the Assembly, 

and one-half of the upper house, the Council of State, were 
named by the British Government; that the lower house was 
elected by a franchise open to one out of two hundred and 
fifty in the population, and the Council was (half) elected by 
a franchise still further whittled down. Finally, the voters were 
divided into sectarian groups — Hindus, Moslems, Christians, 
Europeans, etc., they were given representation bearing little 
relation to their numbers; and each candidate presented 
himself not to all the citizens in his community, but only to 
his fellow-sectarians. As Josiah Wedgwood, then a Member of 
Parliament, said of the Reforms, "The very idea of India 
vanished from the Bill, to be replaced by the disunited 
communities of Hindu, Muslims, Sikh, Mahratta, Brahmin, 
non-Brahmin, Indian Christian, Anglo-Indian, and English/' 20 
It was claimed that such a plan was necessary to protect the 
Moslems from the Hindus, who outnumber them almost five 
to one; in practice, however, it is the Hindus who need 
protection from the Moslems. The actual result was the 
increasing division of India into a score of hostile groups. 

It was a result admirably suited to an alien ruler, who 
no doubt had not intended it. It is only a coincidence that Lt.- 
Col. John Coke, Commandant at Moradabad, advised the 
British Government, shortly before it took over India from the 
Company: "Our endeavors should be to uphold in full force 
the (for us fortunate) separation which exists between the 
different religions and races, not to endeavor to amalgamate 
them. Divide et impera should be the principle of Indian 
Government"; to rule your subjects, divide them. It was 
another coincidence that the British Governor of Bombay, in 
1859 , sent to his Government this word of counsel: " Divide et 
impera was the old Roman motto, and it should be ours." It 





was also a coincidence that Sir John Strachchey wrote: "'The 
existence, side by side, of hostile creeds among the Indian 
people is one of the strong points in our political position in 
India ," 21 A government must not be held responsible for the 
inadvertent honesty' oi its representatives. 

Against the Reforms no Hindu could do anything except 
protest by tongue or pen. But that was a right not guaranteed 
to him; the Reforms "did not insure to the Hindus freedom 
of speech, or of assembly, or of the press; or the right of trial 
in open court; or the privilege of habeas corpus; or any other 
of the essential rights and privileges which are the foundations 
and indispensable guarantees of liberty, justice, and law." 22 
W hen protests were tried , and the Hindu press began to voice 
its suspicion that India had been deceived, the Government 
at Delhi issued, in 1919, the Rowlatt Acts, re-imposing upon 
India all those restrictions of assembly, press and speech that 
had been in effect during the War. The Acts proclaimed that 
hereafter the Government might arrest without notice or 
warrant any suspected person, and detain him without trial 
as long as it liked; that such trial as might be given was to be 
in secret, before not a jury but three judges appointed by the 
Government; that the accused need not be told, the names of 
his accusers, nor of the witnesses against him; that these 
should not be required to confront him; that the accused must 
not be allowed the right of engaging a lawyer to defend him; 
that he must not call witnesses in his behalf; that usual legal 
procedures might be abrogated; and that no appeal would be 
permitted 23 An Indian scholar showed that these were almost 
precisely the rules of the Spanish Inquisition. 24 The Acts were 
later repealed. 

III. A Whiff of Grapeshot 

The last blow was the massacre of Amritsar. Since all 
news of this event remained hidden from the world, and even 
from Parliament, for several months after its occurrence, and 
since this slaughter was the proximate cause of the Revolution 
of 1921, let us inquire into the details. In the now famous city 
of the Punjab, meetings were held to protest against the 
Rowlatt Acts; and on March 30 th and April 6 th , 1919, hartals 
were successfully declared — all business in the city stopping 
throughout those days as a sign of popular dissatisfaction with 
the Government. "There was no disorder," says an English 
clergyman resident in India, "and Europeans passed 
unmolested among the crowds." 25 It was a fine sample of 
"non-violent non-co-operation. " 

On the 9 th of April the Government arrested Drs. 
Kitchlew and Satyapal, who had addressed the protest 
meetings. When word of this spread, a great crowd poured 
into the streets; part of it tried to force its way through the 
police lines to register with the Deputy Commissioner their 
protest against the arrest of the leaders. Some in the crowd 
threw stones at the police; the police answered with bullets 
and ten men were killed. Infuriated by the sight of these dead, 
the crowd lost all order, destroyed property, and killed five 
Englishmen. A woman missionary was set upon and beaten, 
but was carried to safety by some Hindus. Indians of 
education tried to pacify the crowd, but failed. Indian officers 
in the city volunteered their services to the Government. 26 

On the 10 th and 11 th , 600 troops arrived; on the 12 th 
Brigadier-General Dyer came, and took command. By that day 
quiet had been restored, and such crowds as gathered were 





peaceably dispersed. General Dyer made several arrest; and 
on the 13 th he summoned the people by call of drums, and had 
read to them a proclamation forbidding them to leave the city 
without a pass, or to organize processions, or to gather in 
groups of more than three. Meanwhile 10,000 Hindus from 
outlying districts, who had little if any knowledge of this 
proclamation, collected in the enclosure known as Jalianwala 
Bagh, and proceeded to celebrate a religious festival. 27 The 
Bagh was an extinct garden, and surrounded with high walls 
on every side, and entered by a few narrow passages. 

Informed of this meeting. General Dyer proceeded to the 
spot with a detachment of troops equipped with Lewis 
machine-guns and armored cars. Entering the Bagh, he saw 
the crowd, and concluded that it had met in violation of his 
orders. Without giving the slightest warning, or affording the 
assemblage any opportunity to indicate its pacific intentions, 
he ordered his troops to fire upon the imprisoned mass; and 
though the crowd made no resistance, but shouted its horror 
and despair and pressed in panic against the gates, the General 
ordered the firing to continue until all the ammunition the 
soldiers had brought with them was exhausted. He personally 
directed the firing towards the exits where the crowd was 
most dense; "the targets," he declared, were "good." 28 The 
massacre lasted for over ten minutes. When it was over, 1500 
Hindus were left on the ground, 400 of them dead. 29 Dyer 
forbade his soldiers to give any aid to the injured, and by 
ordering all Hindus off the streets for twenty-four hours, 
prevented relatives or friends from bringing even a cup of 
water to the wounded who were piled up in the field. 30 

A reign of official terror followed. General Dyer issued 
an order that Hindus using the street in which the woman 

missionary had been beaten should crawl on their bellies; if 
they tried to rise to all fours, they were struck by the butts of 
soldiers' guns. He arrested 500 professors and students and 
compelled all students to present themselves daily for roll- 
calls, though this required that many of them should walk 
sixteen miles a day. He had hundreds of citizens, and some 
school-boys, quite innocent of any crime, flogged in the public 
square. He built an open cage, unprotected from the sun, for 
the confinement of arrested persons; other prisoners he bound 
together with ropes, and kept in open trucks for fifteen hours. 
He had lime poured upon the naked bodies of Sadhus (saints), 
and then exposed them to the sun's rays that the lime might 
harden and crack their skin. He cut off the electric and water 
supplies from Indian houses and ordered all electric fans 
possessed by Hindus to be surrendered, and given gratis to 
the British. Finally he sent airplanes to drop bombs upon men 
and women working in the fields. 31 

The news of this barbaric orgy of military sadism was 
kept from the world for half a year. A belated commission of 
inquiry appointed by the Government rendered an equivocal 
report. A committee appointed by the Indian National 
Congress made a more thorough investigation and reported 
1,200 killed, and 3,600 wounded 32 General Dyer was censured 
by the House of Commons, exonerated by the House of Lords, 
and was retired on a pension. Thinking this reward 
insufficient, the militarists of the Empire raised a fund of 
$150000 for him and presented him with a jeweled sword of 
honor. 33 




IV. The Revolt of 1921 

When he heard of Amritsar, Tagore wrote the following 
letter to the Viceroy, enclosing the knighthood which had been 
conferred upon him by the British government. 

The enormity of the measures taken by the 
Government in the Punjab for quelling some local 
disturbances has, with a rude shock, revealed to all 
minds the helplessness of our position as British 
subjects in India. The disproportionate severity of the 
punishments inflicted upon the unfortunate people, 
and the methods of carrying them out, we are 
convinced, are without parallel in the history of 
civilized Governments, barring some conspicuous 
exceptions recent and remote. Considering that such 
treatment has been meted out to a population 
disarmed and resourceless by a power which has the 
most terribly efficient organization for destruction of 
human lives, we must strongly assert that it can claim 
no political expediency, far less moral justification. 

The accounts of insults and sufferings undergone by 
our brothers... have trickled through the gagged 
silence, reaching every corner of India, and the 
universal agony of indignation roused in the hearts of 
our people has been ignored by our rulers — possibly 
congratulating themselves for imparting what they 
imagined a salutary lesson. 

The time has come when badges of honor make our 
shame glaring in the incongruous context of 
humiliation, and I, for my part, wish to stand shorn 
of all special distinct!* vn by the side of my countrymen. 


who, for their so-called insignificance, are liable to 
suffer a degradation not fit for human beings. 34 

At the same time Gandhi sent a similar letter to the 
Viceroy, returning the decorations he had received for services 
to the Empire in Africa and during the War. On November 
4 th the National Congress at Delhi, at his suggestion, issued a 
call for peaceful mass civil disobedience: i.e., for boycott of all 
British goods, the refusal of all taxes, and the abandonment 
of all forms of association or co-operation between Hindus and 
the Government. The British Government thought to mollify 
resentment by having the Prince of Wales come to India. But 
when the Prince arrived at Bombay, on November 17 th , the city 
declared a hartal , or closing of all business, and left the heir 
to 320,000,000 Hindus to face empty streets and shut windows. 
Only the English and a few ambitious Parsee merchants 
appeared. When the people heard of these latter recalcitrants, 
they poured out from their hovels and with the 
characteristically uncontrolled and multiplying rage of the 
crowd, set fire to the homes of the merchants, and killed fifty- 
three men. 35 

Gandhi, at Ahmedabad, heard the news with dismay; 
could it be that his people were as brutal as the British? He 
rushed to Bombay, and told the crowd, which had greeted him 
with wild applause, that they had committed an outrage that 
almost lowered them to the level of General Dyer. 

He went back to his Ashram a disillusioned man; his 
people were not prepared for a pacific revolution; like the rest 
of humanity, they were still too near the beast. He fasted and 
prayed, and was encouraged to learn that the Prince had 
found Calcutta a dead city — that there the hartal had been 
carried out with unanimity, and without violence. But at 





Moplah in the south, and Chauri Chaura, in the north, came 
two of the blackest events of the first revolt. 

The divisions between Moslems and Hindus had 
suddenly become more violent than before. The revival of 
Hinduism by Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, and the Arya- 
Somaj, had widened the gap between the rival sects. 
Reactionary Hindus played music before mosques, which are 
not intended to hear music; in some parts of India they classed 
Moslems with Untouchables; since the Prophet had forbidden 
the charging of interest, many Mohammedans were in debt 
to Hindu usurers; the Moslems disapproved of graven images 
of deity, the Hindus filled the streets with them; the Moslems 
believed in but one god, and buttoned their coats to the left; 
the Elindus believed in a thousand gods, and buttoned their 
coats to the right. 36 From 1923 to 1927 the riots between these 
two schools of theology cost 450 lives and 5,000 injuries. 37 

The bloodiest of these disagreements occurred at Moplah, 
on the Malabar coast in the south of India, in August,1921. The 
Moplahs were simple Moslems who believed that every 
murdered Hindu was pleasing in the sight of God. Angered 
by the British treatment of the Mohammedans in the Near 
East, they rose against the local officials of the Government, 
and killed seven of them. Ashamed of their moderation, and 
finding no other whites to hand, they turned upon the Hindus 
(to whom they owed money), butchered huiadreds of them, 
and circumcised other hundreds of them, male and female. 38 
And at Chauri Chaura, in February, 1922, twenty-seven police 
who had tried to stop a Nationalist procession were attacked, 
driven into their barracks, and burned to death. 39 The 
Government retaliated for these acts of violence by arresting 
250,000 men and women. 40 

Gandhi now performed an act of moral courage hardly 
paralleled in history. He had been empowered by the last 
National Congress to begin and to end non-co-operation when 
he should think best. He knew now that many elements in the 
revolutionary movement secretly rejoiced in the violence at 
Chauri Chaura and Bombay — the Hindus had proved that 
they were not cowards; they too could kill. He knew that these 
younger leaders had no faith in revolution by peace, but were 
anxious to come to violent grips with the enemy; and he 
suspected that they looked upon these outbursts of the Hindus 
as the first events in a successful violent revolution. 

But he did not believe that a violent revolution could ever 
be successful. He had made up his mind that he would rather 
fail without violence than win with it. He astonished all India, 
and all England, by issuing instructions to Nationalists 
everywhere that the non-co-operation movement was to be 
abandoned at once. A cry of protest came from hundreds of 
his subordinates; they could not understand. They were 
convinced that their leader had ruined the Revolution. 

And yet that brief revolt had accomplished things 
hitherto considered impossible, A people over-given to 
meditation and prayer, too immersed in other worlds, too 
ready to accept slavery as Maya — a superficial matter of no 
importance or reality — had been persuaded, even too 
suddenly, to turn their thoughts to the earth. A nation which 
many had looked upon as exhausted and finished had risen 
like a lusty youth. A people without patriotism and without 
national consciousness, because divided into a hundred 
provinces, languages, races, and creeds, had been welded into 
unprecedented unity. The Hindus stiffened a little, and began 
to look their masters in the face; the English bent a little, and 





became more attentive to their serfs. It was evident to all that 
the Revolution had but begun. 

V. Between Revolutions 

The influence of Gandhi might have been destroyed by 
his self-denying ordinance, had not the authorities arrested 
him soon after its announcement. Now, though his authority 
had fallen with the leaders, it rose with the people; they hailed 
him as a martyr and a saint, and put his pictures in their huts 
along with images of the gods. One poster circulated by his 
followers showed him as the unchallenged center of a group 
composed also of Buddha, Krishna, Christ, Tolstoi, Lenin, and 
McSwiney. 41 

When, in 1924, Gandhi was released, he found his power 
broken. A new set of leaders had arisen who called themselves 
the Swaraj Party, and aimed to secure Home Rule through 
participation in, and legal political capture of, the Government. 
Those who understood the English smiled at this; but Gandhi 
was so weakened by failure, fasting, imprisonment and an 
operation, that he gave a mild consent to the new policy, and 
retired for years into the obscurity of his Ashram. 

The new guides of India were of many kinds. There was 
Chita Ranjan Das, head of the Swarajists ; a man of passionate 
devotion who gave every ounce of his strength to the 
movement and died of overwork in the prime of life. He 
thought the Charka romantic, and yet feared the possibility that 
Hindu freedom might be merely a change from foreign to 
domestic exploiters; he dreaded the development of the 
factory systems in India, and hoped that industry might be 
spread out through the villages, and its ownership distributed 

to the point where it would lack the power to dominate the 
Government. 42 He was an ardent Moderate. "We want to 
remain within the Empire," he said, "if that is not inconsistent 
with establishing our own system of government. It is only the 
lack of vision in the British policy which is driving some of 
our young men to think of going outside of the Empire." 43 

The older leaders, like Mrs. Annie Besant, an 
Englishwoman who had lived in India since 1893, became 
more cautious with every gray hair, and while calling for 
Home Rule, insisted that the approach to it should be not 
merely peaceful, but fully in accord with law. Great barristers 
like Madan Mohan Malaviya, Motilal Nehru, and Vallabhai 
Patel, who became President of the Assembly at Delhi, exerted 
their influence to keep the movement within the bounds of 
law. But the younger Nehru, Jawaharlal, destined to be one 
of the major leaders in 1930, refused to commit himself to the 
avoidance of violence; laws made by alien tyrants were not 
to be respected as laws. A small circle of Communists looked 
to Russia as a model; a fraction of the industrial workers in 
the city organized long strikes; and these two groups formed 
a red fringe on the Nationalist movement. Picturesque as any 
was Sarojini Naidu, representative of the liberated minority 
among the women of India; poetess and revolutionary, and 
fiery orator. See her inflaming with her wild spirit the National 
Congress which had elected her President: 

Come, my General, come, my soldiers! I am only a 
woman, only a poet. But as a woman I give to you the 
weapons of faith and courage, and the shield of 
fortitude. And as a poet, I fling out the banner of song 
and sound, the bugle-call to battle. How shall I kindle 
the flame which shall waken you men from slavery? 44 





VI. The Simon Commission 

Into this cauldron of souls came the Simon Commission. 
The Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms had been tentative; and the 
British Parliament had arranged to send a commission of 
inquiry to India, after a decade of the Reforms, to report on 
their operation, their success or failure, and their possible 
improvement. The Commission, appointed by a Conservative 
ministry, consisted of three Conservatives, two Liberals, and 
two Labor members of Parliament. They sailed for India in 
January, 1928. 

The Hindus had looked forward to this Commission as 
promising to uncover, for the British people, the defects of the 
Reforms, and the practical enslavement of India. They were 
astounded to find that no Hindu had been appointed to its 
membership. They felt that they could not look for a 
sympathetic understanding of their situation from men all of 
them English, most of them conservative, and all of them 
profiting, indirectly, from the British control of Indian finances 
and Indian trade. The Hindu leaders, of all groups and sects, 
announced that so far as they had influence, India would 
boycott this Commission; they would not lend themselves to 
the farce of being judged by their enemies. 

When the Commission landed at Bombay, on Febrary 
3 rd . 1928, it found the city flying everywhere black flags as a 
sign of mourning; business was suspended, the shop -windows 
were shuttered, and the Hindu-owned newspapers had 
stopped publication for the day. Sir John Simon attempted to 
undo the mischief by issuing, on his arrival, an invitation to 
the Indian Assembly to appoint from its membership an 
"Indian Central Committee" to sit with the Simon Commission 

on its second visit to India. Some Moderates responded, but 
India paid no attention to them. Wherever the Commission 
went it was ignored by all those elements in India which 
desired freedom; and on its appearance great hartals were 
declared in the cities. At the end of March it left India. 

It returned in October, 1928, and remained until April, 
1929. The boycott still continued. The report of the 
Commission, to which the liberals of the world had looked for 
some solution of the problem — how India might be free and 
yet remain content within the Empire, accepting the 
compromises necessary to avert a panic in British industry and 
trade — appeared in 1930, and was received with an amazed 
disappointment throughout the world. It was made evident, 
as the "Survey" of surface phenomena was followed by 
"Recommendations" which were less liberal than the 
Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms, that the Commission had been 
unable to rise above a natural resentment at its reception to a 
sympathetic view of India as, in basic fact, under the heel of 
England; and that the Conservatives had tried to use the 
Commission to tighten their grip upon India. It became 
necessary for the MacDonald Government to exclude all 
members of the Commission from the Round Table 
Conference of English and Hindus which had been called for 
October, 1930. Observers in India agreed that the work of 
MacDonald and Lord Irwin in pacifying India had been made 
far more difficult by the Simon Report. 

The essence of the Report, so surrounded with historical 
and argumentative minutise that only political experts 
recognize it as fundamental, is the recommendation that the 
Central Legislature should be elected no longer by the people, 
but by the provincial legislatures; that the powers of this 





"Federal" Assembly should be severely reduced to leave each 
province almost independent of the central government; and 
that the power of the provincial governors, and of the Viceroy, 
should remain as broad as before. 

This subtle proposal for the further disunion of India is 
coated with a suggestion that the franchise for the election of 
the provincial legislatures shall be extended from the 3% of 
the population now permitted to vote, to 10%. 45 It suggests 
that in addition to the property qualification now attached to 
the franchise, an educational requirement shall be added. (If 
a certain minimum of education had been made the sole test, 
it would have been a very fair proposal; however it would 
have had the disastrous effect of filling the legislatures with 
men devoted to freedom.) Communal elections are to be 
continued; 46 it is true that they might be replaced, as in 
America, by constitutional safeguards against the oppression 
of religious minorities; but they are now more indispensable 
than ever to the disunity of India. The system of "Dyarchy" 
is to be abolished, and the security which it guaranteed to 
British interests will be protected by the "Over-riding Powers 
of the Governor." The Governor of each province is not to be 
elected, of course; he is to be appointed by the British 
authorities, and he is to remain free to over-rule his legislature 
whenever this seems to him necessary. 47 

The Federal Assembly is to consist of two houses, to each 
of which the Viceroy will appoint a substantial proportion of 
its membership. The ratio of Hindus to the British in the Indian 
Civil Service is not to be raised 48 The Federal delegates will 
be responsible not to the people, but to the provincial 
legislatures. Their membership is to include representatives 
from the seven hundred Native States, 49 for these, being under 

native autocrats, do not want Home Rule in India. The Viceroy 
has the privilege, as before, of over-ruling the Assembly 
whenever, in his judgment, the interests of the British Empire 
are affected. 50 Since India is subject to invasion from without, 
and sectarian disorders within, like America, its army must 
remain, "at any rate for a long time to come," under "the 
control and direction... of agents of the Imperial 
Government." 51 This is obvious; for if the Indian army should 
be under the control of the country which provides nearly all 
of its soldiers and all of its funds, the relations between 
England and India would have to be friendly. 

VII. 19 30 

In December, 1928, the All-India National Congress held 
a fateful meeting at Calcutta. It had now a dues-paying 
membership of 510,278, and an attendance of 15,000 men and 
women from every section of India. Shortly before, the 
Viceroy, Lord Irwin, had sought to appease discontent by 
promising India Home Rule in the future; but as this was no 
more than Mr. Montagu had promised eleven years back, the 
Hindu leaders returned his note as being worthless without a 
date. Sick of these vague references to the future — promises 
apparently made in the hope that "things would blow over" — 
the Congress of Calcutta served notice that unless dominion 
status were granted to India by the end of 1929, placing her 
on an equality with Canada, South Africa, Australia and New 
Zealand, the members of the Congress pledged themselves to 
inaugurate, on January 1, 1930, a movement for complete 
independence. If India could not be treated like Canada it 
would seek freedom like the United States. Gandhi pled with 





the Congress to make the interval two years instead of one; it 
refused; and he accepted its decision. 

On New Year's Day of 1930 the National Congress met 
at Lahore. It observed that the Government had made no 
advance toward the liberation of India, except to announce, 
on November 1, 1929, that Great Britain proposed to call a 
Round Table Conference to discuss a new constitution for 
India. Asked if the new constitution would give dominion 
status. Lord Irwin had replied that it was the intention of His 
Majesty's Government to give India dominion status 
"ultimately." The Congress expressed its understanding of this 
word by empowering Gandhi and an Executive Committee to 
declare, at their discretion, the opening of the campaign for 
freedom. After an interval of modest retirement, Gandhi had 
been accepted once more as the leader of India. 

On March 6 th , he called the Indian people to another trial 
of Satyagraha and Ahimsa — civil disobedience without violence; 
and he wrote to the Viceroy explaining his action. 

Before embarking on civil disobedience,... I would 
fain approach you and find a way out. I cannot 
intentionally hurt anything that lives, much less fellow 
human beings. . .While therefore I hold British rule a 
curse, I do not intend to harm a single Englishman or 
any legitimate interest he may have in India. . .1 do not 
consider Englishmen in general to be worse than any 
other people on earth. I have the privilege of claiming 
many Englishmen as my dearest friends... Why do I 
regard British rule as a curse? It has impoverished the 
dumb millions by a system of progressive exploitation 
and by the ruinously expensive military and civil 
administration which the country cannot afford. It has 

reduced us politically to serfdom. 

The Viceroy replied very briefly: 

His Excellency ...regrets to learn that you 
contemplate a course of action which is clearly bound 
to involve violation of the law and danger to the public 

On March 12 th Gandhi began his "march to the sea." He 
stopped at villages on the way and instructed the people not 
to pay the salt tax, which weighed so heavily upon the 
millions. On April 16 th he reached the coast, and made salt by 
evaporating ocean water, thus violating a Government 
monopoly. On the 9 th two of his sons were arrested. On the 
14 th , the younger Nehru, President of the National Congress, 
was arrested for manufacturing salt, and Sen Gupta, Mayor 
of Calcutta, was imprisoned for sedition. On May 3 rd Gandhi 
was for the second time sent to jail. 

Meanwhile the people were showing heroism hardly 
precedented in history. At Peshawar, on April 23 rd , a crowd 
gathered in protest against the arrest of local Nationalist 
leaders. The official reports of what followed stated that 
twenty people were killed in a riot. The report of Abdul 
Kasuri, President of the Punjab Provincial Congress 
Committee, was smuggled through the censorship. As its 
simple story proceeds, these distant things cease to be phrases, 
and become realities of flesh and flowing blood. 

There had been absolutely no disorder, and not the 
least cause given to the authorities to fear that there 
would be any. ..The crowd had been behaving 
throughout in an exemplary manner. 

While the crowd was returning towards the city, 
two armored cars full of soldiers came from behind 





without blowing the horn or giving any notice 
whatever of their approach, and drove into the crowd 
regardless of consequences. Many people were 
brutally run over, several were wounded, and at least 
three died on the spot. In spite of the provocation, the 
crowd still behaved with great restraint. 

At this time an English officer on a motorcycle came 
dashing past. As to what happened to him it is not 
quite clear. There are two conflicting versions. The 
semi-Government version says that he fired into the 
crowd, and one of the persons who was wounded by 
the shot struck him on the head and he died. The other 
version... is that he collided with the motor car. 

At the same time one of the armored cars caught 
fire. . . It is alleged on the one hand that it was set fire 
to by the mob; the other version is that it caught fire 
accidentally. . . A troop of English soldiers had reached 
the spot, and without any warning, began firing into 
the crowd, in which there were women and children. 

Now the crowd gave a good example of the lesson 
of non-violence that had been instilled into them. 
When those in front fell down wounded,.. .those 
behind came forward with their breasts bared and 
exposed themselves to the fire... Some people got as 
many as twenty-one bullet wounds in their 
bodies... All the young people stood their ground 
without getting into a panic. A young Sikh boy came 
and stood in front of a soldier and asked him to fire 
at him, which the soldier unhesitatingly did, killing 
him. Similarly, an old woman, seeing her relations and 
friends being wounded, came forward, was shot, and 

fell down wounded. An old man with a four-year old 
child on his shoulders advanced, asking the soldier to 
fire at him. He was taken at his word and he also fell 
down wounded. Scores of such instances will come 
out on further inquiry. 

The crowd kept standing at the spot... and were 
fired at from time to time until there were heaps of 
dead and dying lying about. The Anglo-Indian paper 
of Lahore, which represents the official view, wrote to 
the effect that the people came forward one after 
another to face the firing, and when they fell wounded 
they were dragged back and others came forward. This 
state of things continued from 11 o'clock to 5 P.M. 

Two facts are noteworthy... There was not one 
single instance where there was the mark of a bullet 
at the back... Neither the police not the military nor 
anybody else alleges that there was any stick or 
weapon, blunt or sharp, with the persons in the crowd, 
nor were any wrenched from any person by the 

At this stage it is very difficult to say what is the 
number of the dead and wounded. This much seems 
most likely, that the number of the dead is in 
hundreds, and a careful study of the situation seems 
to disclose this incident to be a repetition of the 
Jalianwala Bagh massacre. 52 

At Dharasana the Satyagrahi, or revolutionists pledged to 
peace, expressed the feeling of India that a vital necessity like 
salt should not be taxed, by attempting to walk up to the salt 
pans and carry away what they needed. It was a little illogical, 
for they do not seem to have offered any payment. The police. 





solid Hindus from Surat under British officers, did their best 
to repel the advance without violence; they held great bamboo 
sticks or lathis , six feet long with steel knobs on the ends, over 
the heads of the vanguard, and threatened them* When the 
advance persisted, the police struck. The revolutionists made 
no resistance, but continued to approach the police until their 
front ranks fell unconscious from repeated blows. A corps of 
stretcher-bearers had come prepared, and while these carried 
away the fallen, the second rank advanced to the police, 
without raising an arm or carrying any weapon. They too were 
struck on the head, in the abdomen, and in the face, until they 
fell. This continued for hours, till hundreds lay unconscious 
and bleeding on the ground, on stretchers, or in neighboring 
homes. Mr. Webb Miller, European News Manager of the 
United Press, an eyewitness, writes: 

In eighteen years of reporting in twenty-two 
countries, during which I have witnessed innumerable 
civil disturbances, riots, street-fights and rebellions, I 
have never witnessed such harrowing scenes as at 
Dharasana. The Western mind can grasp violence 
returned by violence, can understand a fight, but is, I 
found, perplexed and baffled by the sight of men 
advancing coldly and deliberately and submitting to 
beating without attempting defense. Sometimes the 
scenes were so painful that I had to turn away 

One surprising feature was the discipline of the 
volunteers. It seemed they were thoroughly imbued 
with Gandhi's non-violence creed. 53 

At Bombay, on June 19 th and 21 st , this strange capacity 
to suffer without striking back, as a mute sign of India's new 

pride and resolution, was demonstrated again. Orderly 
battalions of Satyagrahi, men and women, marched up in 
succession to Maidan Esplanade to hold a meeting forbidden 
by the government, and allowed themselves to be beaten 
down unconscious by the Mahratti police. Powerful Sikhs, 
armed with great swords, joined with these Satyagrahis, and, 
refusing to defend themselves, allowed their heads to be 
beaten until they fell to the ground with blood streaming from 
their mouths. 54 No one in India had thought that this war-like 
race would accept the counsels of Gandhi. These were scenes 
unknown in history since the Coliseum; it was as if the 
primitive Christians were once again fighting with silent 
suffering against an oppressive Rome. 

Throughout these pitiful massacres one could still 
sympathize with the police. They had been told to prevent a 
violation of the "law"; they could not be expected to 
distinguish between law made by the representatives of India, 
and law imposed upon 320,000,000 Hindus by a few invading 
foreigners; they only knew how to obey. "They seemed 
reluctant to strike. It was noticeable that when the officers 
were occupied on other parts of the line the police slackened, 
only to resume threatening and beating when the officers 
appeared again.'' 55 But in many cases the brutality without 
which no man would be allowed to be a policeman in India 
appeared in the most repulsive forms. One eyewitness reports: 
"The police snatch off the men's garments, twist and squeeze 
the testicles, and even batter them until their victims foam at 
the mouth and become unconscious/' 56 This incredible story 
is corroborated by another witness apparently above 
suspicion. On June 12 th Miss Madeline Slade, an English- 
woman of high standing, daughter of an Admiral in the British 





Navy, printed in Gandhi's weekly. Young India, the following 
account of what she had seen at Dharasana — items either not 
included in the United Press report or expunged from it by 
the censor: 

During these days when the authorities in Whitehall 
and Simla are never tired of extolling the behavior of 
the police, I thought I would go and see for myself 
how this "exemplary behaviour" has affected the 
Satyagrahis at Dharasana. I reached Bulsar at mid-day 
on June 6 th , just as the wounded were being brought 
in there from the "raid" of that morning. Many of them 
were being carried on stretchers, others could just 
struggle from the motors to hospital wards. 

"The beating and torturing has been most merciless 
today!" said the doctors and attendants. I proceeded 
around the rooms to visit the Satyagrahis more closely 
and to take notes from doctors as to the nature of their 
wounds. Literally I felt my skin to creep and my hair 
to stand on end as I saw those brave men, who but a 
few hours previously had gone forth absolutely 
unarmed, vowed to non-violence, now lying here 
before me battered and broken from head to foot. Here 
was a young man with his shoulders and buttocks so 
beaten that he could not lie on his back, yet his arms 
and sides were so damaged that he did not know how 
to turn for rest. There was another gasping for breath 
with his chest badly battered, and nearby was a strong, 
tall Musselman lying utterly helpless. 

"What are his damages?" I asked. 

"He has received fearful blows on the stomach, the 
back and right leg," they replied. "Also his testicles are 

both swollen, having been badly squeezed by the 

We went upstairs. Here my attention was attracted 
by the sounds of sharp-drawn, whistling breathing, 
intermixed with heartrending groans. It was a young 
man writhing in agony. He kept catching at his 
stomach, and at intervals he would suddenly sit up as 
if he were going to go mad with pain. 

"Fie has had a deadly blow right on the abdomen," 
they said. "And he has been vomiting blood. He has 
also had his testicles severely squeezed, which has 
shattered his nerves." 

They fetched ice and applied it to the head and 
damaged parts, which gradually soothed him. 

And so we went on from this house to another, 
where we found still more and more wounded. 
Everyone to whom I talked gave the same description 
of fiendish beating, torturing, thrusting and dragging, 
and one and all spoke with burning horror of the foul 
abuse and unspeakable blasphemy which the police 
and their Indian and English superiors had poured 
upon them. 

So this is some of the exemplary behaviour of the 
police.... What then has become of English honor, 
English justice?... Who could dare to uphold as a 
means of dispersing a non-violent gathering: 1. Lathi 
blows on head, chest, stomach and joints; 2. Thrusts 
with lathis in private parts, abdominal regions; 3. 
Stripping of men naked before beating; 4. Tearing off 
loin cloths and thrusting of sticks into anus; 5. Pressing 
and squeezing of the testicles until a man becomes 





unconscious; 6. Dragging of wounded men by legs and 
arms, often beating them the while; 7. Throwing of 
wounded men into thorn hedges or salt water; 
8. Riding of horses over men as they lie or sit on the 
ground; 9. Thrusting of pins and thorns into men's 
bodies, sometimes even when they are unconscious; 
10. Beating of men after they had become unconscious, 

and other vile things too many to relate 

The whole affair is one of the most devilish, cold- 
blooded and unjustifiable in the history of nations. 
India has now realized the true nature of the British 
Raj (rule), and with the realization the Raj is doomed. 57 

The Government did not protest that this description was 
untrue. It merely ordered Young India to deposit $18,000 as a 
guarantee against the publication of such articles in the future. 
The magazine refused, because it could not. The Government 
suppressed it, and confiscated its property. 

That is all we are told, for over the great sacrifice the 
censor has drawn the veil, lest we should be too much moved. 
Behind the censor and the veil God knows what is happening 
in India, what courage and suffering, what shooting and 
bombing, what airplanes and tanks, what self-control of the 
spirit, unknown in history, before power and terror and guns. 

Meanwhile, as the printer prints these words, the Round 
Table Conference opens in London. All the parties of England 
are represented there by able men; but from India have come 
only unrepresentative delegates, scorned by the nation. 
Gandhi, Nehru pere et fils , Malaviya, Patel, Sarojini Naidu and 
a hundred other leaders chosen by India to speak for it, are 
in jail. 

What will the British do? They have the power — all the 

weapons of land and sea and air, an iron control of the Hindu 
press, and a propaganda organization in every part of the 
world, subtle and influential beyond belief. They do not yet 
need to be just. Perhaps they will suggest to Parliament only 
enough liberty for India as will leave it still at the mercy of 
England, but will split the Nationalists into those willing, and 
those unwilling, to welcome a crumb. So the British may 
disrupt the present movement, turn the leaders upon one 
another, and then, when the movement has broken up, rest 
on their arms until they must fight again. 

But then they will have to fight again. A people so 
aroused, so patient and so tenacious, will not forget. The play 
is not over. 1921 was the First Act; 1930 was the Second Act. 
There will be a Third. 








I described in Chapter I the appalling condition of India 
today. That description was colored with the prejudices 
natural to an American; it stated the case for India without 
pretense of offering the other side. I wish now to present the 
English point of view as completely as I can in narrow 
compass; to let England speak for herself, through her own 
capable defenders; and to reserve all rejoinder until this 
defense is complete. 1 

I. England Speaks 

1. The Nietzschean Defense 

Ultimately the case for England's hold on India rests 
upon the Nietzschean ethic of power — on the right of the 
stronger to use the weaker for his purposes. Sir William 
J oynson-Hicks, Home Minister in the Baldwin Government, 
expressed the matter candidly some years ago. "I know it is 
said in missionary meetings that we conquered India to raise 
the level of the Indians. That is cant. We conquered India as 
an outlet for the goods of Great Britain. We conquered India 
by the sword, and by the sword we shall hold it." 2 

For the Hindus (henceforth it is the British who speak) 
are a lower race, doomed by their climate to some foreign 

yoke. The heat of the sun and the aridity of the soil have made 
India inevitably weak, and therefore poor, and therefore 
ignorant; it is so incapable of self-preservation and self- 
government that its entire known history is the story of its 
repeated invasion by successful conquerors. Four thousand 
years ago the Aryans came down out of the north, and created 
a state and a civilization; the heat destroyed their vitality, and 
they decayed. Seven hundred years ago the Mohammedans 
came down out of the north, and created a state and a 
civilization; the heat destroyed their vitality, and they decayed. 
Four hundred years ago the Mongols came down out of the 
north, and created a state and a civilization; the heat destroyed 
their vitality, and they decayed. When the Mogul Empire in 
India broke up at the opening of the eighteenth century, India 
naturally fell a prey to new invaders, new rulers unweakened 
by her heat. If England had not taken her, France would have 
done it, or Portugal, or Holland; it was her good fortune to 
be conquered by the greatest organizers and fairest rulers of 
the modem world. 

The earlier conquerors remained in India, and lost their 
strength; the British come afresh in each generation from the 
north, and their officials in India return every fifth year to 
renew their vigor amid England's snows and rains; this is why 
68,000 Englishmen can rule 320,000,000 Hindus. Look at a 
British officer in India, and then look at a Hindu — peasant or 
proletaire, poet or philosopher; you will understand at a 
glance how inevitable and natural is the mastery of the one 
and the submission of the other. 

It is childish romanticism to idealize the Hindu; young 
intellectuals enjoy a sense of superiority in patronizing the 
weak. But Katherine Mayo has exposed this idealization once 





for all. Read her scornful pages and see the Hindus as they 
are : a people defeated by caste and introverted by slavery; 
sunk in such superstition as no other nation on earth would 
bear with; millions of them in every year coming from great 
distances to bathe in filth}/ rivers as a magic means of securing 
a wealthy reincarnation, or, if they are lucky, eternal apathy 
and everlasting death; millions of them offering animal 
sacrifices to Kali, the goddess with blood- dripping jaws; thirty 
millions of them starving while seventy million "sacred" cows 
roam the streets leisurely, never slaughtered for Hindu food; 
a million "holy men" sitting in naked idleness on bathing 
ghats, or swings, or beds of nails, consuming without 
producing; 1 64,000,000 women enslaved to men, some of them 
digging ditches, others carrying burdens six hours a day for 
ten cents a day, some of them ministering as temple prostitutes 
to acquisitive and lecherous priests, half of them shut in by 
purdah in close and stuffy zenanas , doomed to ignorance and 
disease; two million girls married, and one million of them 
widowed, by the age of ten; 26,000,000 widows forbidden to 
seek a second mate; temples adorned with phallic statuary 
showing gods and goddesses in various forms of sexual 
intercourse; men divided inevitably by birth into two thousand 
castes. Brahmins scorning Sudras, Sudras scorning Pariahs; 
44,5000,000 Pariahs or "Untouchables" excluded by the caste 
system from most of the schools, from the use of public wells, 
from any contact or association with their betters, who 
deliberately keep them in ignorance and slavery; these 
Outcastes living in squalor unequaled elsewhere in the 
world — their miserable alleys serving as cesspools, sewers and 
privies — while rich Brahmins and native potentates hoard 
gold, flash jewelry, and live in idle luxury; a nation poorer 

than any, and yet multiplying beyond measure and beyond 
control under the protection of British sanitation and British 
guns: these are the people who lecture the English on morality, 
and pretend that they are fit for democracy; these are the 
superstitions and abuses behind that poverty and illiteracy 
which the simple-minded attribute to foreign rule. 3 

2. British Contribution to India 

No; it is clear that a people so weakened and stupefied 
needs for a long time to come the guidance of a race that will 
bring them hygiene and hospitals, schools and colleges, 
science and technology, officers and administrators, and a 
careful preparation for self-rule under the tutelage of the freest 
and best-governed of modern states. That this external 
management of India has been a boon to her, one fact alone 
suffices to prove, and that is the enormous growth of India's 
population under the British regime. Irrigation works directed 
by British engineers have added 20,00.0,000 acres to the 
cultivable land 4 — an area equal to France. The Sukkur Barrage, 
now nearing completion, will bring under irrigation a region 
as large as cultivated Egypt. 5 Already 13% of the tilled acreage 
of India is supplied by Government irrigation. 6 If the Hindu 
peasant remains poor despite these great improvements, and 
despite the labors of the Government to spread agricultural 
education, it is because he is superstitiously attached to 
ancestral methods and implements; because he indebts himself 
to usurious money-lenders, all of his own race, to pay for 
extravagant dowries and costly festivals; and because his 
Nationalist leaders have not had the intelligence to see, or the 
courage to say, that the root of Indian poverty lies in ignorant 





and reckless breeding. What India needs is not a Gandhi, nor 
even a Tagore, but a Malthus to teach it the laws of population, 
and a Voltaire to free it from superstition by laughing to death 
its ridiculous gods. 

No romantic return to medieval simplicity with Gandhi's 
spinning-wheel will solve the problem of India's poverty; it 
can be solved only by science and industry. Granted that the 
factories of India, most of them owned now by Hindu 
capitalists, exploit their workers after the fashion of all nascent 
industrial systems; these are the measles and whooping-cough 
of industry, and will be cured. Granted that the factory- 
workers are underpaid; but they work far more leisurely, and 
with far less skill, than the working men of Europe or America; 
and at sowing or harvest time they are as likely as not to 
abandon their factories and return to their villages, making 
orderly and economical production impossible. 7 Meanwhile 
Factory Acts have been passed, shortening the hours and 
improving the conditions of labor; machinery and skilled 
workers, technicians and capital, have been brought in to 
transform India into cin efficient nation. The construction of 
telegraph, telephone and postal systems, of electric light and 
power plants, and 40,000 miles of railways, has opened the 
path for the growth of India to wealth and pride. Already the 
life and mind of the country have been quickened by these 
unwelcomed innovations from the West; the new speed of 
communication and travel has jarred the Fiindus from their 
dogmatic slumber, and prepared them to compete with the 
peoples of the modern world. 

If India has seen the decay of her old domestic 
handicrafts, it is because she rejected modern machinery and 
methods, and thought she could stand still and yet remain 

wealthy, while half the earth was moving forward into 
industry. The Abbe Dubois predicted a century ago that the 
scorn of the Brahmins for Western ideas and tools would leave 
India becalmed and impoverished in the wake of a progressive 
Europe. 8 If she has for a hundred years exported more goods 
than she has received, it is because since the d ays of Pliny she 
has preferred to import gold rather than goods, and chosen 
to hoard her riches, or to congeal them into jewelry, rather 
than invest them in productive enterprise. Even Gandhi has 
admitted that this withholding of gold and silver from 
circulation is a main source of India's poverty; 9 and Sir 
Valentine Chirol has calculated that if the wealth thus hoarded 
during the last half-century had been liberated to finance and 
stimulate industry, the proceeds would now suffice to 
discharge the whole of India's public debt. 10 

To make up for the this spinster timidity of the Hindus, 
the English have established 70,000 co-operative credit 
societies to displace the ruthless money-lender, and have lent 
vast sums to India at rates of interest far lower than those 
demanded by Indian investors. The Indian railways were built, 
and the factories of India were equipped, with British capital; 
$2,500,000,000 have been invested by Europeans in Hindu 
industries; and most of the $3,500,000,000 national debt 
represents loans from England. 11 The "drain" from India to 
England today is mostly composed of moderate interest 
charges on these British loans. 

India has never sent a penny of tribute to England; she 
has merely paid for services received, for financial, technical, 
administrative and medical aid. If India no longer exercises 
economic mastery over nations that once acknowledged its 
sway, this has been due not to political injustice, but to the 





normal processes of economic change. All life is war, and the 
victories of industry and trade may be as decisive as those on 
the battlefield. Economic competition among nations is as 
legitimate as among individuals; that India has lost, and 
England won, is an historical accident, not a British crime. For 
many centuries, in the war between East and West, Asia held 
the role of aggressor against Europe. That mastery was lost 
when trade abandoned land routes for the sea; and nations 
that relied on handicrafts were doomed by the Industrial 
Revolution. Until India learns modern ways of production, it 
will naturally and inevitably be subject to some modem state. 

But even to speak of "India" is to confess the beneficence 
of English rule. For until England came to her, India did not 
exist; there was no political entity called India, but only a 
congeries of independent states, forever at war. Even today 
there is no Hindu word for all Indians, no language common 
to them; their revolutionaries themselves use and propose 
English as the only possible speech to unite all Hindus across 
the barriers of their two hundred dialects. 12 Even today there 
are in India seven hundred "Native States," ruled by native 
princes subject to England only in foreign affairs; these princes 
strongly object to the severance of India from the British 
Empire, and would refuse, if necessary at the cost of civil war, 
to submit to an Indian parliament. It is British discipline and 
order that have kept the peace for a century among these many 
states, these hostile religions and divisive castes; it is British 
soldiers who are asked for by every community to preserve 
the peace between Hindus and Monammedans. It is a British- 
trained army, and a British-paid navy, that have protected 
India for a hundred years from invasion by land or sea, from 
wild tribes on the north and from land-hungry empires like 

Japan. It is a British judiciary that has given to India an 
enlightened code of civil and criminal law, administered 
impartially to all; it is Western missionary enterprise that has 
rescued the Outcaste from Brahmin scorn, given him medicine 
and education, and infused into him some saving hope and 

And it is from England that India has taken that ideal of 
democracy which now agitates its revolutionaries. India has 
never been democratic, either in practice or in theory; has 
never offered its people equal opportunity in economic, 
political, or social life. But under British rule the Hindus have 
developed legislatures and ministries with extensive powers; 
provincial services are almost entirely manned by natives; and 
the admission of the Hindus to self-government despite their 
dangerous factionalism and illiteracy has gone on at a pace 
which has alarmed many careful observers. 

For it is clear that India is not yet ripe for full democracy; 
only a young intellectual who has no thought of facing the 
realities and responsibilities of administration could imagine 
a stable and competent government issuing from the universal 
adult suffrage of these 320,000,000 heads, so full of superstition 
and fanaticism. The sudden transportation of modes of 
government from advanced nations to backward nations is no 
longer advocated by any mature mind; and the only reason 
why all responsible elements in India do not denounce this 
scheme is that some of them hope to profit by its miscarriage. 
"The success of Gandhi," says a Hindu, Sankara Nair, "would 
be the success of the forces of reaction in their attempt to attain 
what they call national independence, which in reality means 
their sole dominion." 13 There are a thousand Hindu capitalists 
waiting to exploit India unhindered when it is "free." 





We cannot speak of English contributions to the 
improvement of Hindu religious life, for the passionate 
conservatism of India closes this field to all external reform. 
But one by one most of the moral abuses have yielded to 
British patience and suggestion, from the abolition of suttee 
in 1829 to the practical ending of child-marriage in 1929. We 
must attribute to foreign influence and example the rising 
status of women in India, the increasing remarriage of 
widows, the introduction of birth control, and the 
improvement in the condition of the Untouchables. 

If these moral reforms make but a modest sum, the 
cultural contributions of England to India are beyond 
exaggeration. It was European scholars, chiefly English, who 
studied the languages and cultures of ancient India, and 
resurrected Vedic literature and wisdom; it was Europe that 
revealed India to the Hindus. 14 Beore Sir William Jones and 
Max Muller, history had been to the Hindus mere Maya — 
surface appearance and delusion, deserving only to be 
ignored; now it set the Indian imagination afire, and Hindu 
Nationalists, like the Romantics of SchlegeFs day, turned to 
warm their faith in their country at the hearth of her idealized 
past. India became interested in learning, in scholarship, at last 
even in science; schools financed by the Government and by 
the foreign missions won over the distrustful students, and 
Western education, which a Hindu historian calls "the greatest 
of blessings India has gained under British rule," 15 began its 
attack upon superstition, ignorance and sloth. India, mentally 
stagnant for almost a thousand years, had waited for just such 
alien seed to fertilize it; in the crossing of these cultures. 
Oriental and Western — in the stinging contact of East and 
West, of religion and science, of handicrafts and industry — 

lay the source of that Indian Renaissance which has begotten 
so prematurely the Indian Revolution. 16 The East is drunk with 
the wine of the West, with the lust for liberty, luxury and 

3. The Key to the White Man's Power 

But liberty is impossible in the modern world, if only 
because nations are too interdependent economically to be 
ever again quite free, until our industrial civilization ends. 
Wherever industry replaced agriculture it compelled the 
importation of food and — to pay for the food — the exportation 
of manufactured goods; it compelled the search for raw 
materials and markets; it compelled peoples dependent in this 
way upon foreign areas to protect their own security by 
acquiring control of those areas; it compelled imperialism. 
There is a manifest destiny, but it is economic rather than 
political; and one of its laws is that any people unable to 
develop the resources of its soil for the needs of the world is 
fated to be ruled, directly or indirectly, by a people capable 
of promoting the development of that soil. Englishmen driven 
from farms to factories by the Industrial Revolution would 
have starved to death in their great cities if they had not been 
able to find foreign raw materials, fuel and food. They found 
them, and made them secure for England; it is what any nation 
would have done, what all nations do. That is the essence of 
modern history. 

So, by the impersonal process of economic evolution, 
England has become dependent upon India; and any sudden 
severance of their relations would be politically dangerous for 
India, and economically reunions for England. Consider what 





would happen if India were at once to receive complete Home 
Rule : she would pass legislation involving the loss of a billion 
dollars to European investors; she would put up a high tariff 
on British goods, and throw a million British working men into 
the swollen ranks of the unemployed; she would teach all her 
growing generation a hatred of Western civilization; she 
would dismiss British civil servants and British officers, 
destroy the efficiency of the Indian army, open the frontier to 
Afghan tribes and Russian encroachments, and put an end to 
the British Empire. 

For a century Russia has been advancing into Southern 
Asia; now she controls the new Soviet republics of 
Turkmanistan, Uzbekia, Taikistan, and Kara Khirgis. Let 
England step out of India, and Russia will step in. India and 
China will join Russia in a Soviet federation that will wage 
a bitter economic battle, and perhaps mobilize a billion 
Asiatics, in a war of the continents to destroy European 
trade and Western civilization. The greatest system of order 
ever built — the British Commonwealth — is at stake; the 
security of travel, the safety of white men in Asiatic states, 
the peace and existence of Australia and New Zealand, the 
whole prestige and leadership of the white race on the 
globe, are imperiled by the Indian Revolution. Give India 
Home Rule, and she will demand equality with Canada, 
South Africa and Australia; give her this equality, and she 
will demand freedom of Hindu emigration to these 
countries; permit this, and the standard of living all over 
the world will sink to the Asiatic level. A German professor, 
George Wegener, expressed the heart of the matter as far 
back as 1911 : "It is in India, of all places on the earth, that 
the superiority of the white over the colored races is most 

strikingly demonstrated. If the Asiatics were to succeed in 
destroying English mastery there, then the position of the 
whole white race throughout the world be fatally 
undermined." 17 

It is not a choice between theories that confronts us, it is 
a choice between Asia and ourselves; between life as it is lived 
by Pariahs and coolies, and life as it has been enriched in 
Europe and America by industry and trade. When England 
is compelled to leave India it will mark the inauguration of 
Asia's mastery of the globe. 

II. India Answers 

This is the case for refusing Home Rule to India. What 
has the Hindu to say to it? 

1. Morals in India 

He will remind the English how, indignantly they 
denounced, in 1914, the Nietzschean ethic which in the last 
resort is the only ground on which the British retention of 
India can be defended today. He will attribute the subjugation 
of 320,000,000 Hindus by 68,000 Englishmen not to the climate 
of India, 18 but to the historical accident that England found 
India helpless in 1757, disarmed her, and, by control of the 
seas, has kept her weaponless ever since. He will protest 
against comparing the conduct, superstitions, and intellect of 
a people oppressed and kept ignorant for a century with those 
of nations reaping now the harvest of a century of liberty and 
public education. He will wonder whether British refusal to 
"interfere" with Hindu religion was not due in some measure 





to a sense of the great advantage, to an alien government, of 
a creed that stupefied men with myth and ritual, and consoled 
them for earthly suffering with dreams of future bliss. He will 
recall to the West its own superstitions, recently gathered 
together by Professor Richet in his book on Idiot Man , and he 
will suggest that Hindu superstitions are not worse than ours, 
but merely different; he will compare Lourdes with Benares, 
and remark on the popularity, among us, of new religions that 
reject medicine and seek to heal with faith. He will picture vast 
crowds flocking to a grave in quest of miraculous cures; he 
will point out that the central item in our religious ritual is a 
relic of savage theophagy. He will admire our sympathy for 
the goats sacrificed to Kali, and will offer his own to the 
thousands of cattle slaughtered at Chicago every day. He will 
acknowledge the evils of the caste system, and inquire whether 
the attitude of a Brahmin to a Pariah differs, except in words, 
from that of a British lord to a navy, or a Park Avenue banker 
to an East Side huckster, or a white man to a negro, or a 
European to an Asiatic. 

He will regret the early age of marriage in India, 19 and 
its unnatural deferment here; he will mourn over child 
widows in India, and child laborers in America — a million and 
a half children under thirteen in the factories of the United 
States. 20 He will compare the hostility of Moslems and Hindus 
in India to the recent riots of Protestants against Catholics in 
Liverpool, the Know-nothing outbreaks of the last century in 
America, the genial persuasiveness of the Ku Klux Klan, and 
the part played by religion in the presidential election of 1928. 
He will voice his sorrow for the wars of the Hindu princes, 
and the War of the Nations; for the subjection of women in 
India, and the subjection of men in America; for the disabilities 

of the Untouchables there, and the lynching of negroes here. 
He will admit that adultery is not as highly developed in India 
as in more prosperous countries. He will comment gently on 
the popularity of murder and fornication in the United States; 
on our superiority in criminal gangs and political machines; 
on the break-down of government in our cities, and the 
unsafety of life in our streets and our homes; on our riots of 
drunkenness in America and in Paris; on the spread of sexual 
promiscuity and disease, and the disappearance of 
professional prostitution; on the erotomania of ou r cot leges, 
our night-life, our stage, and our literature; on the primitive 
vulgarity of our motion-pictures and our musical comedies; 
on the decay of marriage and the home, and the passage of 
order and discipline from our lives. 

No doubt every civilization has its faults, and only the 
most unfair mind would present a list of the faults as a 
description of the civilization. An American may still love 
America despite the evils which he finds within its borders; 
he may still object to foreign control of American cities despite 
their evident unfitness for self-government. The Hindu has 
been the first to acknowledge the abuses of his country. From 
over a century ago, when Ram Mohan Roy initiated the 
movement to abolish suttee, down to 1929, when the Hindu 
legislature, against the original opposition of the British 
Government in India, 21 raised the age of marriage to fourteen 
for women and eighteen for men, it is native reform 
organizations like the Brahmo-Somaj and the Arya-Somaj that 
have fought the best fight against child-marriage, perpetual 
widowhood, caste, bloody sacrifices, polytheism, and idolatry. 
"The roll-call of those associated in the movement to secure 
more humane treatment for the Outcastes is long and 





illustrious." 22 Gandhi has risked his whole position on the 
liberation of the Untouchables; he has adopted an Outcaste girl 
as his own, and refuses to enter any home whose doors are 
closed to her. 

"I loathe and detest child-marriage," says Gandhi; "I 
shudder to see a child- widow. I have never known a grosser 
superstition than that the Indian climate causes sexual 
precocity. What does bring about untimely puberty is the 
mental and moral atmosphere surrounding family life." 23 
Nothing could be more straightforward; indeed there are many 
who believe that Gandhi is here too hard on his people. "We 
must compare a girl of fifteen in India with one of seventeen 
in England," says Ernest Wood. 24 "Personally," said Lajpat Rai, 
"I consider it a social crime to marry a girl under the age of 
sixteen, even though Indian girls reach puberty about the age 
of twelve." 25 "It can be safely said that a young girl of twelve 
in India is as old as a young woman of fifteen in America." 26 
Those who like to be generous would add that large classes of 
Hindu society avoid child-marriage; 27 that, according to the 
official census of India, 28 child-marriage is merely betrothal, 
the girl remaining with her parents until puberty, and only 
when consummating the union; that 60% of the girls marry 
after fifteen; 29 that consummation before the age of thirteen 
has long been illegal; 30 that the average age of first motherhood 
in India is 18.3 years. 31 Finally, we must do what justice we 
can to the purpose behind the institution of child-marriage — 
the acceptance of it as preferable both to premarital 
promiscuity and to the choice of mates under the blinding 
influence of erotic desire. 32 Sexual irregularities are much rarer 
in India than in almost any other country. We may entertain 
every expectation, however, that India will soon emulate 

America, and replace early marriage with promiscuity. 

In no other country is the reformation of moral abuses 
progressing so rapidly as in India. Child-marriage is already 
ended, and "the vast majority of Hindus remarry their 
widows"; compulsory widowhood will probably disappear in 
a generation. In 1915 fifteen widows married; in 1925, 2,663. 33 
The temple dancers, or Devadasis, are almost extinct; every 
tourist searches for them and finds none. The seclusion of 
women is breaking down; the Revolutionary movement has 
brought them into the open with almost Western precipitation. 
A number of periodicals for women discuss the most up-to- 
date problems; even a birth-control league has appeared. 34 The 
cities are breaking down purdah day by day, until now hardly 
6% of the women observe it; 35 modest women walk the streets 
unveiled and unabashed. In many of the provinces women 
vote and hold political office; twice women have been 
president of the Indian National Congress. Many of them have 
taken degrees at the universities, and have become doctors, 
lawyers, and professors. 36 Soon, no doubt, the tables will be 
turned, and women will rule. Must not some wild Western 
influence bear the guilt of this appeal issued by a subaltern 
of Gandhi to the women of India? 

"Away with ancient purdahl Come out of the 
kitchens quick! Fling the pots and pans rattling into 
comers! Tear the cloth from your eyes, and see the new 
world! Let your husbands and brothers cook for 
themselves. There is much work to be done to make 
India a nation!" 37 

Such is the result of the "fertilization of the Orient with 
Western ideas/ 7 We cannot tell yet whether this intellectual 
seduction of a sub-continent will prove to be a favor or a curse. 

J 32 




2. The Decay of Caste 

The greatest evil of all remains. Caste was once a 
necessity, a cordon of marriage restrictions flung between 
conquerors and conquered to keep the Aryan blood pure and 
the stock strong; even today we would not ask the high-caste 
Brahmin to lie down with the unwashed and omnivorous 
Pariah. There is in caste a hygienic and eugenic element in 
accord with the most modern biological ideas. And all through 
Indian history the castes were rather occupational guilds than 
ethnic strata or political cliques; every trade constituted a caste; 
and if the Brahmins formed a caste it was largely because they 
were united by their functions as teachers and priests. 

It is only with the passing of the handicrafts, and the 
coming of urban industry, that the caste system has become 
an anachronism. Heredity of trades, so reasonable in domestic 
industry, is an impediment in cities and factories. The 
Industrial Revolution dissolved all class-formations, and 
generated democracy, by demanding and using talent from 
every corner and every rank. It is on the program of our 
century, no doubt, to destroy the caste system in India, not by 
agitation, but by impersonal economic evolution. Already the 
factories are mingling Brahmins, Vaisyas, Kshatriyas, Sudras 
and Untouchables; the mines are mingling them; the trams and 
trains are mingling them; the co-operatives and the schools are 
mingling them; one writer believes, too optimistically, that 
caste will, in effect, be destroyed within twenty years. 38 The 
Kshatriyas and Vaisyas have practically disappeared. The 
lower castes have elected mayors in large cities; the ruler of 
Barocla, the most advanced of Indian states, is a Sudra; the 
Maharajah of Gwalior is a Sudra; the Maharajah of Mysore is 

a Vaisya; the Maharajah of Kashmir receives all castes and 
creeds indifferently at his court; women of every caste mingle 
in careless unity at the National Congresses; inter-caste 
marriages are announced every day. Anyone who cares to 
look may see Hindus of every caste eating together, working 
together, playing together, or sitting together at the theatre, 
with no consciousness of caste.* 39 

But Untouchability is real. Even today, in some parts of 
India, the Outcastes are excluded from temples, public wells, 
and certain roads. A hundred organizations have extended 
helping hands to them; but until industry multiplies wealth 
and gives them a share of it, they will be too poor to be clean, 
and too dirty to be free. Their liberation is coming to them 
from above, from the campaigns waged for them by the 
Brahmo-Somaj, the Arya-Somaj, the Christian churches, and 
Gandhi, 40 and from the schools established by the Government 
under Hindu initiative. 41 In 1917 the number of Outcaste 
scholars in the schools was 195,000; in 1926 it was 667,000 42 
Under Gandhi's influence Brahmins and Pariahs have 
fraternized in many places 43 India changes slowly. But every 
day the tempo quickens; and any day India may decide to 
become a modern state. 

It might have been supposed that these reforms would 
receive every aid and encouragement from the British 
Government in India. Strange to say, it opposed them almost 
without exception. "In legislation upon matters of social 
reform the Indian Government has always thrown its weight 

* I found myself, one afternoon at Madras, sitting with several 
Hindus, when it occurred to me to ask to what caste they severally 
belonged. They answered, smiling indulgently that they no longer 
paid any attention to such distinctions. It is possible, however, 
that this was an exceptional, not a typical, experience. 





upon the side of the status quo . The social reform movement 
has had to work without any countenance from officials/' 44 
The bill to raise the age of consent was resisted by the 
Government for many years; the bill for universal primary 
education was defeated by the Government in 1911 and in 
191 6. 45 "The laws as they are administered today uphold these 
superstitions" (the disabilities of the Outcastes), "and punish 
the Untouchables who dare to disregard them. Whenever a 
member of the Depressed Classes attempts to enforce his civic 
rights, the law steps in under the guise of preserving the 
peace." 46 "The British Government has always been friendly 
to caste; . . . first, because this policy tended to win the favor 
of the Brahmins, ...and second, because caste divisions(or 
other divisions) tend to make the British task of holding the 
people in subjection more easy, on the principle of "divide and 
govern." 47 The Government excuses itself by proclaiming its 
desire not to interfere with Hindu religion; but the Hindus 
themselves, in many of the Native States, have inaugurated 
moral and social reforms many years before these were 
accepted by the Government of British India. 48 Let an English 
clergyman and professor, the Rev. C.F. Andrews, sum up the 
matter : 

It has been my daily experience for nearly a 
quarter of a century to watch the course of events 
in India with an eager longing for advance in 
humanitarian directions. Every day my own 
convictions — slowly and painfully formed — have 
grown stronger, that the rule of the foreigner is now 
definitely standing in the way of helping social 
reform. In the Legislative Councils the official note 
is continually given for reaction... If the British rule 

were to cease to-morrow, the advancement of the 
Depressed Classes would at once be brought into the 
foreground of the national program. ..In social 
reform work in India it is probably true that 
progress would be doubly rapid if Indian statesmen 
had the helm instead of British. 49 

3. Greek Gifts 

Even that economic development which has been held 
up to India as the dire prerequisite of her freedom has been 
retarded by English control. It is true that the Government, on 
a smaller scale than the old rulers of India, 50 constructed 
irrigation works, and then charged so much for the water these 
supplied that the peasants were in many cases as badly off as 
before. 51 It is true that new areas have been opened for 
cultivation to new over-taxed paupers, and that far greater 
areas have been lost to cultivation by cutting down huge tracts 
of wooded land, failing to reforestate, and thereby converting 
fertile regions into arid wastes. 52 It is true that India has 
imported silver and gold, and that this has largely gone into 
the Native States to adorn idle princes maintained by British 
power. A Hindu historian has shown that this influx of gold 
falls far short of accounting for the gaping discrepancy 
between exports and imports; 53 and an English economist has 
calculated that after making full allowance for the import of 
precious metal, "the yearly drain from British India of 
commercial products for which there is no commercial return," 
amounts to "upward of $150,000,000 a year." 54 

It is true that industries have been introduced to take 
advantage of sweated labor, and that the native industries of 





India were killed by English control of the Hindu tariff. The 
industrialization for lack of which India is censured was stifled 
in its growth by act of Parliament. The railroads, which have 
so helped British commerce and the British army, have been 
a drain on the treasury; their losses have been made up, year 
after year, from the taxes of the people. The worst famines in 
Indian history have come since the building of the railways, 
which were supposed to relieve famine. 55 "The year 1897-98," 
says Professor Dutt, "was a year of widespread famine in 
India, and millions of people died of starvation. Nevertheless, 
the land revenue was collected to the amount of $85,000,000, 
and cultivators paid it largely by selling their food-grain, 
which was exported to the amount of $50,000,000 in that 
calamitous year." 56 Today, after all these economic 
contributions of England to India, "personal observation," says 
an Englishman, "would lead me to the opinion that India's 
poverty is becoming more acute." 57 And an experienced 
American traveller reports : "The Hindu people impress the 
visitors as woe-begone and melancholy. One never hears a 
laugh, and rarely sees even a deprecating smile." 58 Is it not 
time that England should be called to account for what she 
has done, and not done, in India, these one hundred and fifty 

It is said that England has given India unity. On the 
contrary she has delayed unity by supporting the caste 
system, and setting up puppet princes in seven hundred 
"independent" Native States, upon whose autocratic rulers 
Britain can rely to oppose the unification of India under a 
democracy. The Simon Report recommends further disunity 
by proposing the almost complete independence of each 
province; its secret purpose again is to "divide and rule." 

India has two hundred languages, or rather dialects; so has 
Russia; so has non-Russian Europe, which is no larger than 
India; Canada, with one-thirtieth of India's population, has 
178. 59 Already 200,000,000 of India's 320,000,000 speak 
Hindustani. 60 For thousands of years India has had a unity 
far deeper than that of language or government; she has had 
the moral and cultural unity of Europe in the Middle 
Ages — that Europe which lost its unity when modern 
nationalism began. 61 Only self-government can give India 
political solidarity. 

It is said that England has given India law and order and 
peace. That is, she has annexed state after state of India by 
superior killing, called victories; she has used India's manhood 
in 111 wars; and she has shot down or imprisoned those 
Hindus who dared to suggest that this was not law, or order, 
or peace. She has allowed the Hindus the privilege of fighting 
for every cause but their own; she has made a wilderness and 
called it peace. There is not an American in America who 
would not prefer chaos to such peace. 

There are riots between Moslems and Hindus in India. 
But only in the British provinces; strange to say, they are rare 
in the Native States. 62 "In the case of many of these 
disturbances," says the always kindly and careful Gandhi, "we 
hear of Government agents being at the back of them. The 
allegation, if true, would be painful to me, not surprising." 63 
Ramsay MacDonald writes of the "suspicion that sinister 
influences have been and are at work on the part of the 
Government; that Mohammedan leaders have been and are 
inspired by certain British officials, and that these officials, of 
malice aforethought, sow discord between the Mohammedan 
and Hindu communities." 64 Lord Olivier, Secretary of State for 





India under the first MacDonald Government, said : "No one 
with a close acquaintance with Indian affairs will be prepared 
to deny that on the whole there is a predominant bias in British 
officialdom in favor of the Moslem community, partly on the 
ground of closer sympathy, but more largely as a make-weight 
against Hindu nationalism." 65 It is a secret known to all that 
the removal of the capital from Calcutta to Delhi was aimed 
to secure the support of the Moslems against the Hindus. The 
system of communal or sectarian elections, by which religious 
groups in India vote as a unit, for members of their own sect 
exclusively, has intensified these divisions. The Simon Report 
proposes to continue this system, and lauds England for 
conferring unity on India. 

All in all, the transference of British law to India has 
probably done more good than harm. The English judiciary, 
at home and abroad, are usually men of high character; and 
the admission of all castes to equality before the law has 
immensely stimulated India. In practice these virtues are 
slightly dimmed by the complexity and costliness of the 
new code; the simple Panchayats, or village communities, 
which once decided disputes and maintained order, have 
been replaced by a legal system intelligible only to lawyers, 
slow in its operation (important civil cases usually last five 
years), and prohibitive in cost to any low-caste Hindu. 66 The 
system has benefited the lawyers more than the people. 67 
And while justice may be relied upon in cases involving 
only Europeans or only natives, in cases involving the two 
races justice is tempered with mercy — to the European. 
"Crimes committed by Europeans against Indians are 
always punished in the lightest manner possible, often so 
inadequately as to attract public attention and constitute a 

scandal." 68 An Englishman shoots his servant dead and 
receives a sentence of six months' imprisonment and $67.00 
fine; a Hindu is sentenced to twenty years for attempting 
to rape an Englishwoman, while in the same province an 
Englishman who succeeds in raping a Hindu girl is 
acquitted with no punishment at all. 69 Says Sir Henry 
Cotton, long an English official in India : "Assaults on 
natives of India by Europeans have always been of frequent 
occurrence, with sometimes fatal consequences. The trial of 
these cases, in which Englishmen are tried by English juries, 
too often results in a failure of justice not falling short of 
judicial scandal." 70 Pandit Motilal Nehru, for forty years a 
lawyer in India, charges that not one Englishman has been 
convicted of murder in India in the last 150 years; the death 
of the Hindu is always diagnosed as due to accident. 71 
Mahatma Gandhi, the fairest and most truthful man in 
public life today, says : "In 99 cases out of 100, justice is 
denied to Indians as against Europeans in the courts of 
India. This is not an exaggerated picture. .It is the experience 
of almost every Indian who has had anything to do with 
such cases." 72 When the Marquis of Ripon, as Governor 
General of India, proposed a bill to remove from Indian law 
"every judicial disqualification based merely on race 
distinctions," his palace was boycotted by his own 
countrymen. 73 

As to British "protection of India" — let us keep our 
hypocrisy within moderation; what the English mean is that 
they have kept other poachers out of the field. British 
protection means that British battleships are in the harbors, 
British machine-guns in the barracks, and British bombing- 
planes in the hangars, ready to kill the necessary thousands 





of Hindus if India should seriously rebel. Granted that if 
English protection were to end, some other exploiter would 
step in; what difference could that make to India? 

Far more honest is the claim that England has taught 
India democracy, and initiated it into the marvels and perils 
of modern science.* 

. A Hindu must confess that before 1857 India had known 
only unmitigated autocracy in its central government, and that 
it enjoys more peace and security of life today than under even 
the most enlightened of native princes or Mogul Kings. The 
teacher has taught so well that now she resents the progress 
of her pupil; and scores of free Englishmen arise to point out 
to India that liberty is dangerous, and that only Europeans are 
fit for democracy. England forgets that only a small minority 
of her people could read and write when she liberated herself 
from autocracy through Magna Charta. 74 As Gandhi reminds 
us, literacy and intelligence are not the same; the greatest of 
Indian rulers — Akbar — could not read. 

A host of observers testify to the high average 
intelligence, the extraordinary peaceableness and orderliness, 
of the Hindu people. Lord Morley spoke of the native officials 
in India as "in every way as good as the best of the men in 
Whitehall. " /5 Earl Winterton, Under-Secretary of State for 
India, did "not hesitate to say," 1927, "that in culture and in 
education the leading men among the Hindus are not behind 
the public men of any country." 7 *’ Dr. V H. Rutherford, 
comparing his fellow-members of the House of Commons 
with the Hindu members of the national and provincial 

* At Tanjore, in the courts of the great temple, a handsome youth 
sat studying a Western text-book of anatomy ; he was a symbol of 
the Great Change — of the modern movement from faith to power. 

legislatures of India, found "a definite inferiority among the 
Englishmen compared with the Indians." 77 J.P.Spender, editor 
of the Westminster Gazette , said in 1927 : "There is no eastern 
country which has so many talented men in so many walks 
of life as India." 78 Sir Michael Sadler, President of the Calcutta 
University Commission, said in 1919 that "as for brain-power, 
there is that in India which is comparable with the best in our 
country"; in spiritual qualities he ranked the Hindus above the 
British. 79 The Simon Report remarks : "We have seen several 
of the Provincial Councils in session, and have been impressed 
both with the dignity and the business like conduct of their 
proceedings." 80 And Romain Rolland tells us : "I have not 
found, in Europe or in America, poets, thinkers and popular 
leaders equal, or even comparable, to those of India today." 81 
Travellers are amazed at the ability with which the elected 
representatives of the lowest castes are governing Madras. The 
courage, intelligence, and patient co-operation of the Hindu 
leaders in the Nationalist movement are sufficient proof that 
there is in India abundant talent to ensure a stable 
government. And perhaps disorderly self-government could 
be no worse than an orderly an dishonorable slavery, which 
undermines the pride and character of a people, and makes it 
ever more unfit for independence. Chaos is better than 

It is regrettable that India has become an economic 
necessity to British merchants and financiers. However, it was 
not India that brought about this situation; nor do we usually 
consider the inconvenience caused to the robber as an 
argument against the restoration of stolen goods. If a Hindu 
tariff controlled by India would injure British industry, let 
England recall the destruction worked upon Indian industry 





by a Hindu tariff dictated in England. Gandhi has long since 
promised, every responsible Hindu group has promised, that 
in establishing Home Rule "full guarantees" are "to be given 
for all vested rights justly acquired ." 82 But the working men 
of England must not be deceived into supposing that they 
have profited from the subjection of India. They have never 
been allowed to share in the spoils; they have been as poorly 
paid while England sold their sweated products to India as 
were the workers of countries having no colonies and no 
empires . 83 Who knows but that an India free and growing 
would not soon double the imports now bought from England 
by an India impoverished and enslaved? Perhaps it is the 
prosperity of the East that is needed to restore the trade of the 
dying West? 

As to the political implications of Hindu freedom, they 
cannot be too complex for adjustment between peoples agreed 
on mutual consideration. Rather it is the continued subjection 
of India that may bring problems incapable of solution. Not 
merely that imperialism becomes ever more costly as 
"backward" nations become more advanced, and exploitation 
exacts an almost ruinous expenditure on armies, navies, and 
propaganda — consider the money being spent at present to 
form and control American public opinion about India. But 
the compulsory retention of an unfriendly India within the 
British Empire requires a supreme navy, which taxes more and 
more the finances of Britain, and compels America to tax 
herself in naval rivalry. 

Sooner or later the bondage of India will cause other wars 
as it caused the last. Every student knows that it was the threat 
of a Beriin-to-Baghdad Railway that decided England to enter 
the Great War. Historians know that it was the fear of a French 

march through Egypt to India that made England fight until 
the power of Napoleonic France was destroyed; and that the 
mixed marriage of England with Turkey in the Crimean War 
was due to British fear that a victorious Russia would stretch 
a paw through Persia and Afghanistan into India . 84 Let British 
workers realize that it was for this that a million of them were 
killed in the Great War — not for the rights and self- 
determination of small nations, but for the continued 
enslavement of great peoples. As Gandhi has put it : "The late 
War... was a war for dividing the spoils of the exploitation of 
the weaker races, — otherwise euphemistically called 'world 
commerce'"; and he remarks, elsewhere : "The greatest 
menace to the world today is the growing, exploitation, 
irresponsible imperialism which through the enslavement of 
India is threatening the independent existence and expansion 
of the weaker races of the world ." 85 If that is so, nothing can 
be added to the conclusion of Lajpat Rai : "India holds in her 
hands the remedy for this universal misfortune, for she is the 
keystone of the arch of imperialism. Once India is free, the 
whole edifice will collapse. The best guarantee for the freedom 
of Asia and the peace of the world is a free, self-governing 
India ." 86 







I have tried to express fairly the two points of view about 
India, but I know that my prejudice has again and again 
broken through my pretense at impartiality. It is hard to be 
without feeling, not to be moved with a great pity, in the 
presence of 320,000,000 people struggling for freedom, in the 
presence of a Tagore, a Gandhi, a Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, a 
Sarojini Naidu, fretting in chains; there is something indecent 
and offensive in keeping such men and women in bondage. 
To be neutral in this matter is to confess that we have lost 
every hope and every ideal, and that our American 
experiment, and indeed all human life, have become 
meaningless. Our gratitude for our own national liberty, for 
the opportunity which our Revolution gave us to develop 
ourselves in freedom, obliges us to wish well to the 
Washingtons and Jeffersons, the Franklins and Freneaus and 
Tom Paines, of India. We may still believe that taxation 
without representation is tyranny. 

Nevertheless it would be unwise to seek now complete 
independence for India, or complete democracy; universal 
suffrage should wait upon universal education, and complete 
independence has been made impossible by the international 
character of modern economic life. The British Empire is still 
a manificent organization, an area of order and safety in a 
chaotic world whose lanes of commerce may at any time be 

infested again with bandits on land and pirates on the sea; it 
is good that these systems of order and internal peace should 
exist, if their component parts can be left honorable free. Once 
security required isolation; now it requires co-operation. We 
may even find something forgivable in the grandiose will of 
Cecil Rhodes, who announced, as his ideal and aim, 

the extension of British rule throughout the world, 
the occupation by British settlers of the entire continent 
of Africa, the Holy Land, the valley of the Euphrates, the 
whole of South America, the ultimate recovery of the 
United States of America as an integral part of the British 
Empire; the inauguration of a system of colonial 
representation in the Imperial Parliament, which may 
tend to weld together the disjointed members of the 
Empire; and , finally, the foundation of so great a power 
as to hereafter render war impossible, and to promote the 
best interests of humanity. 1 

Our incorrigible prejudice moves us to prefer a free 
association of the English-speaking peoples as against the 
absorption of South or North America into the British Empire. 
We admire the Empire, but we hope for the day when it will 
be a Commonwealth of Free Nations. We believe that India's 
safest place in this acquisitive and murderous world is within 
that British Commonwealth; for a long time to come it will 
need British aid against invasion, against land-hungry native 
princes, and against religious fanaticism within. It should be 
willing to make a fair return for that aid, by agreeing to accept 
a diminishing foreign control for another decade, and by 
giving guarantees that Home Rule will do no injury to 
established foreign investments, or legitimate trade, or 
religious minorities, or existing governments in the Native 







I have tried to express fairly the two points of view about 
India, but I know that my prejudice has again and again 
broken through my pretense at impartiality. It is hard to be 
without feeling, not to be moved with a great pity, in the 
presence of 320,000,000 people struggling for freedom, in the 
presence of a Tagore, a Gandhi, a Sir Jagadis Chandra Bose, a 
Sarojini Naidu, fretting in chains; there is something indecent 
and offensive in keeping such men and women in bondage. 
To be neutral in this matter is to confess that we have lost 
every hope and every ideal, and that our American 
experiment, and indeed all human life, have become 
meaningless. Our gratitude for our own national liberty, for 
the opportunity which our Revolution gave us to develop 
ourselves in freedom, obliges us to wish well to the 
Washingtons and Jeffersons, the Franklins and Freneaus and 
Tom Paines, of India. We may still believe that taxation 
without representation is tyranny. 

Nevertheless it would be unwise to seek now complete 
independence for India, or complete democracy; universal 
suffrage should wait upon universal education, and complete 
independence has been made impossible by the international 
character of modem economic life. The British Empire is still 
a manificent organization, an area of order and safety in a 
chaotic world whose lanes of commerce may at any time be 

infested again with bandits on land and pirates on the sea; it 
is good that these systems of order and internal peace should 
exist, if their component parts can be left honorable free. Once 
security required isolation; now it requires co-operation. We 
may even find something forgivable in the grandiose will of 
Cecil Rhodes, who announced, as his ideal and aim, 

the extension of British rule throughout the world, 
the occupation by British settlers of the entire continent 
of Africa, the Holy Land, the valley of the Euphrates, the 
whole of South America, the ultimate recovery of the 
United States of America as an integral part of the British 
Empire; the inauguration of a system of colonial 
representation in the Imperial Parliament, which may 
tend to weld together the disjointed members of the 
Empire; and , finally, the foundation of so great a power 
as to hereafter render war impossible, and to promote the 
best interests of humanity. 1 

Our incorrigible prejudice moves us to prefer a free 
association of the English-speaking peoples as against the 
absorption of South or North America into the British Empire. 
We admire the Empire, but we hope for the day when it will 
be a Commonwealth of Free Nations. We believe that India's 
safest place in this acquisitive and murderous world is within 
that British Commonwealth; for a long time to come it will 
need British aid against invasion, against land-hungry native 
princes, and against religious fanaticism within. It should be 
willing to make a fair return for that aid, by agreeing to accept 
a diminishing foreign control for another decade, and by 
giving guarantees that Home Rule will do no injury to 
established foreign investments, or legitimate trade, or 
religious minorities, or existing governments in the Native 





to success on a non-violent basis, it will give a new meaning 
to patriotism, and, if I may say so in all humility, to life itself /' 5 
Yes, life would be dearer to us, it would again have 
significance beyond ourselves, if India should win. 

To Ramsay MacDonald the situation offers such a chance 
for nobility as does not come twice to many men. What an 
opportunity to speak the healing word, even if it should 
destroy him! Will he remember his promise, and keep it at 
whatever cost to himself and his party? He must go down in 
defeat soon; for what better cause, then, than for dealing 
honorably with India? Perhaps, if his measures for Indian 
Home Rule should be framed, with his customary caution and 
good sense, to ease the problems which Hindu freedom might 
bring to British industry, the ancient English love of liberty and 
fair play would see him through, as it has lifted him up now 
despite his heroic opposition to the War. What a chance for 
England to be England again! 

As for America, officially it can do nothing; it must leave 
Britain to face alone and unhindered these issues that involve 
the very life of her Empire. But as individuals we are free to 
be true to our national tradition of lending a sympathetic 
hearing to every people struggling for liberty. Writers who are 
not mere dilettantes, not mere money-makers, bear a moral 
obligation to leave no word unturned until the case of India 
has been presented to the world. Christian clergymen who are 
still in touch with Christ will speak out unequivocally/ time 
and again, for India, until their united voices are heard beyond 
the sea. Let them ferret out the facts and pour them forth 
among their people, until not an American will be left to stand 
by in ignorant comfort while one-fifth of mankind is on 

"What is your message to America?" Gandhi was asked 
recently. He answered, modestly : "I would like, on the part 
of the people of America, an accurate study of the Indian 
struggle, and the methods adopted for its prosecution ." 6 And 
Lajpat Rai, Columbia University student, founder of the Arya- 
Somaj, inscribed to America in the following words the great 
book. Unhappy India , which he left unfinished when he was 
struck down as he marched unarmed in a peaceful parade : 


With love and gratitude to those numberless 
American men and women who stand for the freedom of 
the world; who know no distinctions of color , race , or 
creed; and who prefer a religion of love , humanity , and 
justice. To them the oppressed people of the earth look 
for sympathy in their struggle for emancipation, and in 
them is centered the hope of world-peace. 

What more could be said? How could we read these 
words without offering to India some sign of understanding, 
and gatitude. 








1 . For detailed exposes of Miss Mayo's Mother India cf.: Dr. 
J.T.Sunderland's magnificent India in Bondage, New York, 
1929 — so good that its circulation is prohibited by the British 
Government in India; or Ernest Wood's chivalrous An 
Englishman Defends Mother India, Madras, 1929; or Savel 
Zimand's Living India, New York, 1928; or -full of 
information, but difficult to secure — Lajpat Rai's Unhappy 
India, Banna Publishing Co., Calcutta, 1928. 

2. Sunderland, pp. 480-1. 

3. Indian Year-Book, Bombay, 1929, p.44; G.Elliot Smith, Human 
History, New York, 1929, p.360. 

4. Kohn, H., History of Nationalism in the East, New York, 1929, 

5. Travel Diary of a Philosopher, New York, 1925, vol. I, pp. 

6. Ibid., p.256. 

7. Sunderland, p. 367. Similar evidence will be found in Dutt, 
R.C. Economic History of India under Early British Rule, 
London, 1893, pp.100, 105,110,415. 

8. Zimand, p.32. 

9. Adams, Brooks, Law of Civilization and Decay, New York, 
1921, p. 308; Zimand, p.34; Smith, V., Oxford History of India, 
Oxford, 1923, p. 505; Macaulay, T.B., Critical and Historical 
Essays, vol. I, p. 504 (italics mine). 

10. Zimand, p. 31. 

11. Dutt, pp. 18-23. 

12. Oxford History of India, p. 502. 

13. Zimand, p-34. 

14. Macaulay, p. 580. 

15. Ibid., p. 530; Dutt, pp. 32-3. 

16. Dutt, p. 61; Macaulay, p.529. 

17. Dutt, pp. 76,375. 

18. Macaulay, pp.603 f. 

19. Ibid., p. 609 f. 

20. Dutt, p. 7. 

21. Macaulay, pp. 568-70. 

22. P. 498. 

23. Macaulay, p. 528. 

24. Dutt, pp. xiii, 399, 417. 

25. Oxford History of India, p. 332. 

26. Dutt, p.10. 

27. Moon, P.T., Imperialism and World Politics , New York, 1930, 
p. 294. 

28. Sunderland, p.135. 

29. Lajpat Rai, p. 343. 

30. Zimand, p. 46. 

31. Kohn, p. 359. 

32. Moon, p. 294. 

33. Sunderland, p. 133. 

34. Lajpat Rai, p. 333. 

35. Dutt, p. 370. 

36. Lajpat Rai, p. 311. 

37. Dutt, p. 373. 

38. Ibid., p. 373. 

39. Encyclopedia Britannica, 14 th ed., vol. xii, p. 167 a. 

40. Ibid., p. 167 b. 

41. P. 167 c; Lajpat Rai, p. 462. 

42. Sunderland, p. 424. 

43. Encyc. Brit., vol. xii, p. 167 c. 

44. Indian Year-Book, p.299. 

45. Dutt, pp. 369. 371, ix. 

46. Lajpat Rai, p. 354. 

47. Sunderland, p. 15. 

48. Ibid. 

49. Lajpat Rai. P. 356. 

50. Ibid., p. 362. This has been partly remedied by the income- 



tax, which does not affect the poor directly. 

51. Sunderland, p. 369. 

52. Lajpat Rai, pp. 344-7 ; Dutt, p. xiii; Moon, p. 291. 

53. Encyc. Brit., vol. xii, p. 178. 

54. Wood, p. 188. 

55. Indian Year-Book , p. 28. 

56. Lajpat Rai, p. 346. 

57. Oxford History of India , p. 780; Moon, p. 300. 

58. Indian Year-Book for 1828-9 . 

59. Dutt, p. 423. 

60. Ibid., p. 234. 

61. Lajpat Rai, p. 395. 

62. Sunderland, p. 311. 

63. Ibid., pp. 308-9. 

64. Ibid., p. 486. 

65. Lajpat Rai, p. 481. 

66. Sunderland, p. 305. 

67. Ibid., p. 306. 

68. Dutt, p. 321. 

69. Ibid., p. 426. 

70. Ibid., p. 414. 

71. Op. cit., p. 90. 

72. Sunderland, pp. 376 f. 

73. Zimand, p. 184. 

74. Sunderland, p. 482. 

75. Ibid., p. 170. 

76. Ibid., p. 467. 

77. Zimand, p. 217. 

78. Mayo, Katherine, Mother India, New York, 1928, p. 374. 

79. Lajpat Rai, p. 355. 

80. Indian Year-Book, p.29. 

81. Zimand, pp. 180-1, 9-10, 178. 

82. Lajpat Rai, p. 321. 

83. Dutt, p. 256. 

84. Ibid., pp. 45, 256-7, viii-ix. 



85. Ibid., p.263. 

86. Martin, Montgomery, Eastern India, in Dutt, p. 290. 

87. Zimand, p. 191. 

88. Kohn, p. 101. 

89. Lajpat Rai, p.382. 

90. Ibid., p.462. 

91. Sunderland, p. 365. 

92. Digby, Prosperous India, p. 208, in Lajpat Rai, p. 333. 

93. Dutt, p. 47. 

94. Indian Year-Book, p. 791. 

95. Lajpat Rai, p. 341. 

96. Dutt, p. 50. 

97. Lajpat Rai, p. 514. 

98. Zimand, p. 193. 

99. Lajpat Rai, p. 514. 

100. Sunderland, p. 300. 

101. Dutt, p. 49. 

102. Adams, pp. 259-65; Sunderland, p. 386. 

103. Adams, pp. 313 f. 

104. Dutt, p. xiii. 

105. Sunderland, p. 20; Lajpat Rai, pp. 341, 348. 

106. Dutt, p. 409. 

107. Ibid., p. 420. 

108. Lajpat Rai, p. 357; Sunderland, p. 316. 

109. Lajpat Rai, pp. 24-25. 

110. Moon, p. 308; Sunderland, p. 259. 

111. Indian Year-Book, p. 398. 

112. Lajpat Rai, p.78. 

113. Ibid., p. 55. 

114. Sunderland, p. 283. 

115. Lajpat Rai, p. 69. 

116. Moon, p. 308. 

117. Sunderland, p. 259. 

118. Lajpat, Rai, p. 42. 

119. Sunderland, p. 206. 





120. Ibid., p. 160. 

121. Ibid. 

122. pp. 146, 156. 

123. P. 149. 

124. P. 150. 

125. Lorenz, Round-the- World Traveller , New York, 1929, p. 207. 

126. Sunderland, p. 155. 

127. Ibid., pp. 149, 151. 

128. P. 149. 

129. Dutt, p.423. 

130. Sir William Hunter, in Lajpat Rai, p. 284. 

131. Lajpat Rai, p. 288. 

132. Ibid., p. 353. 

133. P. 366. 

134. Indian Year-Book , p. 16. 

135. Sunderland, p. 12; Dutt, p. vi. 

136. E.g., Dr. C.C. Batchelder. 

137. Dutt, pp. 51-2. 

138. Ibid., p.7. 

139. From an address to the Bar Association of New York, in 
Lajpat Rai, p. 481. 

140. Sunderland, p. 140; Zimand, p. 173 — the average for 1916- 


141. Mayo, p. 97. 

142. Sunderland, p. 158; Zimand, p. 179. 

143. Sunderland, pp. 140-1. 

144. Lajpat Rai, p. 350. 


1. Fulop-Miller, Rene, Lenin and Gandhi, London, 1927, p. 171. 
Equally good is Josef Washington Hall, Eminent Asians, New 
York, 1929. Of biographies I have found the best to be Gray 
and Parekh, Mahatma Gandhi, Calcutta, 1928; Romain 
Rolland's Mahatma Gandhi, New York, 1924, is a little vague 

and airy. Two volumes by C.F. Andrews, one on the career 
of Gandhi, the other on his ideas, are announced as this 
book goes to press; they will be of great value, since 
Andrews has been for twenty years an intimate friend of 
Gandhi. An autobiography entitled Mahatma Gandhi : His 
Own Story, has just appeared in England, and has aroused 
much comment by its candor. 

2. Fiilop-Miller, pp. 174-6. 

3. Gandhi, Young India, 1924-26; New York, 1927, p.123. 

4. Ibid., p. 133. 

5. Fulop-Miller, p. 168. 

6. Hall, p. 408. 

7. Fiilop-Miller, pp. 202-3. 

8. Ibid., p. 200. 

9. Chirol, Sir Valentine, India, London, 1926, p. 213. 

10. Gandhi, p. 309. 

11. Fiilop-Miller, pp. 208-10. 

12. Gandhi, p. 21. 

13. Rolland, p. 7. 

14. Hall, p. 396. 

15. Gray and Parekh, p.6. 

16. Ibid., p.7. 

17. Hall, p.400; Rolland, p.40. 

18. Hall, p 402; Rolland, p.ll. 

19. Rolland, p.16. 

20. Hall, p.16. 

21. Fiilop-Miller, p. 267; Hall, p. 413. 

22. Moon, Imperialism and World Politics , p. 290. 

23. Fiilop-Miller, p.205. 

24. Parmelee, M., Oriental and Occidental Culture, New York, 
1928, p. 302; Gray and Parekh, p.27. 

25. Gray and Parekh, p. 35. 

26. Rolland, p.92. 

27. Kohn, History of Nationalism in the East, p. 404. 

28. Gray and Parekh, p. 64; Rolland, p. 90; Hall, p. 439. 





29. Gandhi, p. 179. 

30. Cf. Hall, p. 492; Gandhi, p. 13. 

31. Gray and Parekh, p. 109. 

32. Gandhi, p. 36. 

33. Ibid. 

34. Gandhi, p.69. 

35. Rolland, p. 66. 

36. In Fiilop-Miller, p. 259. 

37. Gandhi, p. 887; Fiilop-Miller, p. 291; Hall, p.493. 

38. Close, Upton (pseudonym for Josef Washington Hall), The 
Revolt of Asia, New York, 1928, p. 47. 

39. Gandhi, p. 279. 

40. Hall, p. 480. 

41. Hall, p. 440; Fulop-Miller, p. 281. 

42. Mukerji, Dhan Gopal, Visit India with Me , New York, 1929, 
p. 138. 

43. Fulop-Miller, p. 299; Rolland, p. 220; Kohn, pp. 410-12. 

44. Rolland, p. 224. 

45. Fiilop-Miller, p. 177. 

46. Zimand, Living India , p. 223. 

47. Fiilop-Miller, p. 315. 

48. Ibid., p. 186. 

49. Gray and Parekh, p. 99. 

50. Rolland, p. 69. 

51. Fiilop-Miller, p.169. 

52. Rolland, p. 140. 

53. Gandhi, p. 29. 

54. Ibid., p. 78. 

55. Ibid., p.314. 

56. Hall, p. 496. 

57. Park, No Yong, Making a New China , Boston, 1929, p.293. 

58. Gandhi, p. 721. 

59. Gray and Parekh, p. 26. 

60. Ibid., p. 29. 

61. Rolland, p. 36. 

62. Hall, p. 500. 

63. Rolland, p. 36. 

64. Fiilop-Miller, p. 244. 

65. Gandhi, pp. 75, 183. 

66. Ibid., p. 55. 

67. Ibid., p.73. 

68. Ibid., p. 58. 

69. Gray and Parekh, p. 120. 

70. Hall, p. 437. 

71. Gandhi, p. 59. 

72. Ibid., p.78 

73. Ibid., p. 131. 

74. Hall, p. 474. 

75. Unity for August 18, 1930. 

76. Hall, p. 502; Rolland, p. 46. 

77. Zimand, p. 95. 

78. Rolland, pp. 38, 48. 

79. Ibid., pp. 137 f. 

80. Gandhi, p. 60. 

81. Rolland, p. 133. 

82. Hall, p. 495. 

83. Gandhi, p. 652; Rolland, p. 49. 

84. Gandhi, p. 652. 

85. Hall, p. 503; Rolland, p. 45. 

86. Gandhi, p. 56. 

87. Ibid., pp. 70,74. 

88. Hall, p. 503; Gandhi, pp. 30, 70. 

89. Gandhi, p. 79. 

90. Fiilop-Miller, p. 237; Parmelee, p. 89; Kohn, pp. 401-2. 

91. Fulop-Miller, p. 235. 

92. Rolland, p. 51; Hall, p. 497. 

93. Kohn, p. 413; Rolland, pp. 8, 114, 121; Hall, pp. 388, 495. 
For Gandhi's treatment of sexual irregularity at his school, 
cf. Gandhi, 125. 

94. Fulop-Miller, p. 238; Gandhi, p. 720; Rolland, pp. 54-5; Gray 





and Parekh, p. 29. 

95. Hall, p. 506; Fiilop-Miller, p. 227. 

96. Zimand, p. 220. 

97. Fulop-Miller, p. 233. An Associated Press Dispatch of March 
4, 1930, told how a band of men transporting machinery into 
Tibet were set upon and massacred. 

98. Fiilop-Miller, p. 233. 

99. Joad, C. E. M., in The Listener, October 2, 1929. 

100. Gandhi, p. 683. 

101. Fulop-Miller, p. 242. 

102. Ibid., p. 316. 

103. Ibid., p. 220. 

104. Zimand, p. 219. 

105. Hall, p. 467. 

106. Fiilop-Miller, pp. 171-2. 

107. Kohn, pp. 103, 431; Mukerji, p. 208; Rolland, p. 112. 

108. Besant, Mrs. Annie, India, Madras, 1923, p. 2; Kohn, p.9. 

109. Gandhi, p. 59. 

110. Rolland, p. 244. 

111. Gray and Parekh, p. 92. 

112. Fiilop-Miller, p. 301. 

113. Ibid., p. 293. 

114. Gandhi, p. 925. 

115. Fulop-Miller, p. 251. 

116. Gandhi, p. 940. 

117. Ibid., p. 910. 

118. Ibid., p. 28. 

119. Rolland, p. 235. 

120. Gray and Parekh, p. 85. 

121. Gandhi, p. 225. 

122. Ibid., p. 277. 

123. Ibid., p. 376. 

124. Ibid., p. 270. 

125. Fiilop-Miller, p. 228. 

126. Gandhi, p. 284. 

127. Ibid., p. 226. 

128. Ibid., p. 629. 

129. Fiilop-Miller, p. 220. 

130. Ibid., p.243. 

131. Rolland, p. 170. 

132. Gandhi, p. 887. 

133. Ibid., pp. 61, 539. 

134. Fiilop-Miller, p. 280. 

135. Hall, p. 450; Gandhi, p. 241. 

136. Rolland, p. 68. 

137. Gandhi, pp. 869,2. 

138. Fiilop-Miller, pp. 207, 162. 


1. Kohn, p. 109. 

3. Hall, p. 427; Fiilop-Miller, p. 272. 

2. Ibid., p. 118. 

4. Sunderland, p. 406. 

5. Smith, V. A., Oxford History of India, p. 780; Lorenz, p. 420. 

6. Hall, p. 426. 

7. Lajpat Rai, p. 378; Wood, p. 188. 

8. Sunderland, p. 435. 

9. Oxford History of India, p. 593. 

10. Sunderland, p. 289. 

11. Hall, p. 479. 

12. New York Times, September 10-11, 1930. 

13. Sunderland, p. 488. 

14. Ibid., p. 489. 

15. Ibid . 

16. Simon Report, London, 1930, vol. I, pp. 149-50. 

17. Encylcopedia Britannica, 14 th ed., vol. xii, p. 167 a. 

18. Sunderland, p. 427. 

19. E.g., Simon Report, vol. I, p. 148. 

20. Lajpat Rai, p. 407. 





21. Ibid., p. 404; Sunderland, p. 231. 

22. Sunderland, p. 423. 

23. Ibid., p. 450. 

24. Ibid., p. 451. 

25. Gray and Parekh, p. 49. 

26. Ibid., pp. 49-50. 

27. Sunderland, p. 438. 

28. Chirol, p. 208; Sunderland, p. 438. 

29. Chirol, l.c. 

30. Wood, p. 189, Chirol, p. 209. 

31. Gray and Parekh, p. 114; Chirol, p. 209; Sunderland, p. 422. 

32. Sunderland, p. 423. 

33. Ibid., p. 444; Chirol, l.c.; Gray and Parekh, p. 116. 

34. Sunderland, p. 448; Thompson, E. J., Rabindranath Tagore, 
Calcutta, 1921, p. 55. 

35. Simon Report, vol. I, p. 249. 

36. Gandhi, pp. 183, 75; Zimand, p. 138; Wood, p. 375; Indian 
Year-Book, p. 30. 

37. Simon Report, vol. I, p. 27. 

38. Ibid., p. 249; Lorenz, p. 326. 

39. Hall, p. 450. 

40. Rolland, p. 197 

41. Lorenz, p. 324. 

42. Kohn, p. 420. 

43. Zimand, p. 255. 

44. Naidu, Sarojini, The Sceptred Flute: Songs of India, New York, 
1928, p. xi. 

45. Simon Report, vol. ii, p. 91. 

46. Ibid., p. 60. 

47. Ibid., p. 36. 

48. Ibid., p. 290. 

49. Ibid., p. 18. 

50. Ibid., p 21-3. 

51. Ibid., pp. 175, 174. 

52. Unity, Aug. 18, 1930, p. 347. 

53. New York Evening Telegram, May 23, 1930; Unity, Aug. 18, 
1930, p. 349. 

54. Chicago Daily News, June 20 and 22, 1930; Unity, Aug. 18, 
1930, p. 348. 

55. Unity, Aug. 18, 1930, p. 348. 

56. Ibid., p. 353. 

57. Ibid., pp. 350-1. 


1. The best statement of the case for England in India is the 
recent Simon Report, particularly Volume II. More interesting 
is Sir Valentine Chirol's India, London, 1926. Entertaining 
but unreliable is Katherine Mayo's Mother India — a brilliant 
piece of propaganda not to be taken without an antidote. 
The English histories of India, except those by Elphinstone 
and Vincent Smith, are patriotic apologies. 

2. In Lajpat Rai, p. 456. 

3. Cf. Mother India, passim; Simon Report, vol. i, pp. 38, 52; 
Lajpat Rai, p. 186; Lorenz, pp. 327, 405, 335; Parmelee, pp. 
139 n, 117; Report of the Indian Central Committee, Calcutta, 
1929, p. 383. 

4. Chirol, pp. 169, 176; Smith, V. A., Akbar, the Great Mogul, 
Oxford, 1919, p. 401. 

5. Simon Report, vol. i, p. 19. 

6. C.C. Batchelder, Saturday Review of Literature, May 24, 1930. 

7. Simon Report, vol. i, p. 21. 

8. Dubois, J. A., Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies, 
Oxford, 1928, p. 305. 

9. Besant, p. 25; Hall, p. 422. 

10. Chirol, p. 176. 

11. Zimand, p. 174; Moon, p. 291; Sir George Paish in Zimand, 
p. 191. 

12. Dickinson, G. L., An Essay on the Civilizations of India, China 
and Japan, New York, 1926, pp. 18, 25. 





13. In Fiilop-Miller, p. 243. 

14. Kohn, p. 358. 

15. Dutt, C. R., Economic History of India : the Victorian Age , 
London, 1903, p. 198. 

16. Cf. AE's (George W. Russell's) suggestive preface to 

17. Kohn, p. 122. 

18. Prof. Rhys Davids considers the climate of the northern and 
more populous half of India to be quite healthy; cf. Buddhist 
India , New York, 1903, pp. 43-4. 

19. Until 1885 the age of consent in England was thirteen; at 
present it is fourteen. Lajpat Rai, p. 257. In twelve of the 
United States the legal age of marriage for women is twelve 
years. Zimmand, p. 108. 

20. Mukerji, M. J., A Son of Mother India Answers , New York, 
1927, p. 59; Sunderland, p. 499. 

21. Mukerji, p. 27; Sunderland, p. 254. 

22. Zimand, p. 101. 

23. Hall, p. 505. 

24. Wood, p. 46. 

25. Lajpat Rai, p. Iviii. 

26. Mukerji, p. 31. 

27. Lajpat Rai, p. Iviii; Sunderland, p. 247. 

28. For 1921; vol. i, p. 151, in Mukerji, p. 19. 

29. Zimand, p. 117. 

30. Wood, p. 33. 

31. Mukerji, p. 51. Dr. M. I. Balfour of India gives 18.7 as the 
average age of first maternity in the Bombay hospitals, and 
19.4 in Madras hospitals. Cf. Lajpat Rai, p. 188; Sunderland, 
p. 247. 

32. Cf. Rabindranath Tagore in Keyserling, H., The Book of 
Marriage , New York, 1926, p. 112. 

33. Lajpat Rai, p. 192; Wood, p. 111. 

34. Kohn, p. 425. 

35. Wood, p. 117. 

36. Prof. Sudhindra Bose, in the Nation (New York), June 19, 

37. New York Times , June 16, 1930. 

38. Mukerji, D. G., Visit India with Me, p. 209. 

39. Sunderland, p. 204; "Upton Close," pp. 235, 176; Wood, p. 
266; Mukerji, A Son of Mother India Answers , p. 38. 

40. Cf. Report of the Indian Central Committee, p. 375. 

41. Simon Report , vol. i, p. 395. 

42. Zimand, p. 103. 

43. Kohn, p. 427. 

44. Mr. K. Natarajan, in Sunderland, p. 254. 

45. Lajpat Rai, pp. Iviii, 191, 69. 

46. Report of the Indian Central Committee , p. 375. 

47. Sunderland, p. 204. 

48. Lajpat Rai, p. 204; Indian Year Book for 1929, pp. 576-7; Wood, 
p. 175. 

49. In Sunderland, p. 257. 

50. Besant, p. 50. 

51. Dutt, op.cit., pp. 173-4. 

52. Besant, p. 52. 

53. Dutt, p. 529. 

54. H. M. Hyndman in Wood, p. 412. 

55. Wood, p. 396. 

56. Dutt, p. 534. 

57. Wood, p. 235. 

58. Lorenz, p. 315. 

59. Sunderland, p. 216. 

60. Mukerji, Visit India with Me, p. 201. 

61. Kohn, p. 349. 

62. Wood, p. 361. 

63. Gandhi, p. 73. 

64. In Sunderland, p, 233. 

65. Lajpat Rai, p. 409. 

66. Zimand, p. 232; Lorenz, p. 322. 

67. Sunderland, p. 117. 



68. Ibid., p. 121. 

69. Ibid . 

70. Ibid., p. 126. 

71. P. 125. 

72. P. 127. 

73. Zimand, p. 51. 

74. Sunderland, p. 211. 

75. P. 334. 

76. P. 332. 

77. P . 339. 

78. P. 327. 

79. Mukerji, A Son of Mother India Answers, p. 44. 

80. Simon Report, vol. ii, p. 54. 

81. Preface to his Ramakrishna . 

82. Gandhi, p. 436. 

83. J.K. Turner in Sunderland, p. 394. 

84. Kohn, p. 98. 

85. Gandhi, pp. 863, 62. 

86. Lajpat Rai, p. 425. 


1. Kohn, p. 94. 

2. Gandhi recognizes this last necessity; cf. Young India , p. 436. 

3. Zimand, p. 228. 

4. Dr. Stanley Jones in Gray and Parekh, p. 92. 

5. Zimand, p. 18. 

6. Ibid., p. 228. May I add, in this last word, that I should like 
to see applied to Haiti and the Philippines the same 
principles of Home Rule which have been here defended 
in the case of India?